Lord Shiva was born into this world as Hanuman, the monkey
god. His parents were Pawan, the Wind God, and his wife
Anjana. Hanuman was a bundle of mischief when he was a
child. He was very active. So he had a very healthy
appetite too. Most of the time he was hungry. He was ready
to eat anything that was tasty and within his reach.
Every day, an hour before dawn, Devi Anjana went out to
collect some flowers and fruits. Usually Hanuman was
asleep then. So she would leave him at home. And she would
return before he woke up.
One day, she was held up on her way back. Hanuman woke up
at the usual time. He was terribly hungry. He called out
to his mother, "Ma I am hungry". He waited for his mother
to run to him. That did not happen.
"Where are you, Ma? He said loudly. Still there was no
He waited a while; then called again.
"Where has Ma gone so early in the morning? I am so
hungry," grumbled Hanuman.
When he found no sign of Anjani he decided to find food on
his own. He went into the kitchen. There was nothing there
that he could eat. All the pots and pans and baskets were
empty. Child Hanuman was getting hungrier and hungrier
"Why should not I go out and get fruits to at?" he
thought. He ran down the steps of his home. Then he
noticed a red ball to the east. It was at some distance.
It was the sun rising.
Hanuman watched the sight. It was beautiful. The whole sky
was aglow with morning twilight; the sun looked like a big
juicy fruit. Hanuman thought it was a big red ripe
watermelon. "yumm... I have never eaten this fruit. Ma has
never got it for me. I shall get it by myself. It is very
big and I am sure it is just what I need now. I can't stay
hungry any more."
Hanuman took a big leap. That took him close to the sun.
He reached out for it. He almost had grabbed it. But he
He looked around. He noticed Rahu. Rahu hated the Sun. And
when soever he got a chance, he caught the sun in its
shadow. That was what he did now. This was what he had
been doing since the time immemorial.
Today, he too reached out to cast his shadow on the sun.
But Hanuman beat him to it. He held the son firmly in his
hands. Rahu was furious. He tried to snatch the sun from
Hanuman. But he failed.
Angrily he ran to Lord Indra the lord of all the Gods and
complained, " Oh! Lord! You gave me permission to cast
shadow on the sun, at will. Today, I wanted to do that.
But a young monkey snatched it from under my nose in the
nick of the time" Lord Indra thundered, "Who is this
rascal? Who is this little monkey that has dared to send
you back. I shall teach him a lesson,"
Lord Indira went with Rahu. The two soon came to where
Hanuman was holding the sun.
Hanuman was trying to swallow the sun. Indra got enraged.
He drew his weapon, the Vajrayudh, and hurled at Hangman.
It hit him below the chin. He blacked out and fell on the
ground with a big thud.
Pawan, the wind god, saw him wounded. "Who have done this
to my son?" he growled and turned. He saw the weapon
returning to Lord Indra. He lost his temper. He screamed
at Lord Indra, "How dare you hit my son?" He picked up
Hanuman and ran into a big cave. He gathered all the wind
streams blowing in the universe and kept with him. The
universe became empty airless. Not a whiff of wind moved
wind anywhere. Soon it was impossible to breathe. All
living things started to die. It looked as if all
creations would come to an end.
All the Gods became panicky and rushed to Lord Brahama the
"What brings you to me?" asked Brahma.
"You know Lord," said the Gods with folded hands.
"Yes I know. Didn't you know, Indra that Hanuman is none
else but Lord Shiva in monkey form? He has gone to the
earth to help Lord Rama in the battle against the demon
Ravana. How can you hurt him?"
"I dindn't know, Oh lord. What should we do now?" asked
"Go to Lord Hanuman and ask for forgiveness. Also grant
him some of your divine powers. Then Pawan will be happy,"
Lord Brahma suggested.
The Gods realized their folly. "Oh! We were fools to annoy
the Lord Shiva and Pawan Dev." They hurried to the cave
where Lord Hanuman and Pawan Dev were.
Lord Indra muttered some mantras and drew back the effect
of the Vajrayudh that still held Hanuman unconscious.
Hanuman woke up. He found the gods standing with folded
arms. They sang his praise. One by one, they gifted
immense power to him.
This made Pawan Dev happy. He released the air streams and
life returned again on earth.
Gods returned to Heaven. Lord Hanuman ran back home. He
found his mother, holding a basket full of fruits. He
enjoyed the fruits while Pawan told Anjani, "Know what?
Your son has become very powerful. All the gods came and
gifted him some of their secret powers."
"Does he need anything from others? Is he not Lord Shiva
himself?" Anjani smiled. Pawan Dev bit his tongue and
said, "Deva. I forgot. I always forget. I think of Hanuman
as our little boy. My mistake."
Hanuman heard nothing. He was busy eating the last fruit
in the basket.