There are many mothers or matas as we say in Hinduism. Sita Mata, Lakshmi Mata, Saraswati Mata, to name but a few -but what about Anjani? Who is she and what do we know about her? Anjani is the mother of the great sevak Shri Hanuman and wife of the brave and noble Vaanar‑King Kesari. Kesari played an important part in helping Shri Rama against Ravana.
Before her time on Earth, Anjani Mata was a beautiful spirit (apsara) in Heaven and she was unfortunately cursed by Sage Angirasa for being offensive to him. After tolerating her behaviour for a while, Sage Angirasa became enraged and cursed her that she will become a monkey when she takes the birth in Earth. Sage Angirasa said a monkey as he was mediating in the guise of a monkey when Anjani offended him. After being cursed, she was incredibly regretful and apologised for her actions as she was deeply sorry but Sage Angirasa refused to reverse the curse.
After realising that nothing could be done, she went and visited Lord Brahma and asked if he could save her from this disparaging curse. Lord Brahma said even he had no right to change the curse once it had been given but he did bless her with a boon that she would lose her monkey form once she has given birth to the incarnation of Lord Shiva, namely Rudra -or more famously known as Hanuman. In her Earthly form, Anjani eventually became the wife of King Kesari and they were both followers of Lord Shiva. Her yearning was to have a child and so she prayed to Lord Shiva to grant her the boon of fertility. Once the infinite Lord Shiva gave her guidance, Vayudev (God of Wind) transported his energy into Anjani Mata’s womb. For this reason, Hanumanji is known as the son Vayu.
Hanumanji has much love and devotion for his mother and Anjani Mata taught him good values to uphold in his life. We learn from Anjani Mata that, despite making mistakes in life –we are able to apologise, seek forgiveness and go on to do great things. Anjani Mata taught Hanumanji sanskaars such as honesty and trust which he already possessed before he met Shree Rama. When he was ready to gain an education, his parents agreed that Surya Dev, the Sun God should teach him. Hanumanji learnt and became grateful to his father and mother. Due to her love and passion, she is, to this day, still revered and remembered when one speaks of the story of Hanumanji’s birth.
–Jaimal Patel, Vice President & Sabbatical Officer