Today is Hanuman Jayanti the birthday of Lord Hanuman which is intersecting with this year’s first Lunar Eclipse has upset Lord Hanuman’s birthday plans. According to the Hindu calendar, Hanuman Jayanti falls on the full moon day of Chaitra (first month of Hindu calendar year) this year; however, a lunar eclipse is taking place on the same day. Since an eclipse is believed to be an inauspicious occurrence, anything pious is rescheduled even if the event relates to the gods. It is quite possible that the rituals to mark the occasion may be celebrated on Sunday instead.
According to the available information the inauspicious time, called sutak, starts eight hours before the eclipse and terminates eight hours thereafter the gates of all the temples suppose to remain closed during sutak and the gods are deprived of bhog as well. The scale of the celebration is also smaller than usual in the wake of the eclipse. As per the normal ritual people observe fast, meditate, practice charity, read the Hanuman Chalisa and spend the day in repeating his glories and adventures and be blessed.
The Legend of Hanuman Jayanti
According to the mythology a great saint Angira went to visit the heaven king Indra. He was welcomed there through the dance presented by a damsel named, Punjiksthala. However, saint was not used of that type dance and started meditating. At the end of the dance, he was asked by the Indra about the performance of dancer. He said that I was in deep meditation as I have no interest in such dance. It was very embarrassing situation to Indra and damsel; she insulted the saint which made Angira to curse the damsel “Behold! You shall degrade to earth from Swarg. You will be born as a female monkey in the mountain forests”.
Subsequently she felt repentant and apologized to the saint. The merciful saint blessed her, “A great devotee of Paramatma will be born to you. He will forever serve Paramatma”. She became the daughter of Kunjar (king of the monkeys on earth) and got married to the Kapiraj Kesari of the Mount Sumeru. She gave birth to the Hanuman with the help of five divine factors such as curse and blessings of the saint Angira, her prayers, blessings of Lord Shiva, blessings of Vayu deva and Putreshti Yagna’s fruit. It is considered that Lord Shiva had to rebirth as a human being on the earth in his 11th Rudra avatar in the form of Hanuman as He could not serve to the Lord Rama by being in His real form.
About Shree Marutirai Devashthan
The capital city of Panaji has two prominent temples of Lord Hanuman. One is situated in front of the famous Miramar beach and second is at Old Portuguese colony fontainhas Mala Shree Marutirai Sansthan. This almost 80 years old temple of Mala is one of the most beautiful temples in Goa situated amidst the scenic surrounding atop the hill.
It’s a picturesque walk, back through the by lanes of the past, as you pass through the narrow roads that make up the precincts of Sao Tome and San Sebastian in the areas of Fontainhas, also known as Mala. Filled with traditional houses, that share space with houses from the Portuguese era, these areas were declared as a conservation zone in 1974 and it is a fine example of peace & harmony. The architectural styles from the east and west blend together well.
According to the historical facts this temple was conceptualised and designed by the visionary leaders of the ‘Gomantak Saraswetetar Samaj’ during the Portuguese era. Shri Marutirai Sansthan was established on 23rd January 1934, the tenth day of Magh (according to the Hindu calendar). The Manuman jayanti is celebrated here with much pomp and fervour. The four-day celebrations include palakhi of the idol in the Mala area, pavani (auction) of the fruits and other items used for the deity and three plays. According to the management of the sansthan the devotees from all over the Goa and neighbouring states of Karnataka and Maharashtra flock here. Some of the devotees fly from London to attend this annual ritual. People from all communities participate in the zatrotsava and wait in long queues to do the abhisheka to their fond deity – Maruti or Hanuman, the son of Pawan or Vayu (air)