Whenever the word devotion and devotee are mentioned, the name ‘Hanuman’ is one that comes to the mind of most Hindus. Lord Hanuman’s devotion for Lord Rama is legendary and unparalleled. It is said that the mere mention of Lord Rama’s name is enough to bring Lord Hanuman’s presence. It is also mentioned in some legends that Lord Hanuman is an avatar of Lord Shiva. Folktales vary from region to region and present different ideas.
There is a folktale regarding Lord Hanuman’s birth which explains the reason behind his closeness with Lord Rama, though they meet only later in life. According to the folktale, King Dasaratha conducts a yagnya/pooja under the guidance of sage Agastya to beget children. After the pooja, a divine being appears carrying a pot, and advices the King to give the contents of the pot to his wives. The King paid his respects and started dividing the contents of the pot onto a plate. As the King was about to take the final handful of content from the pot, an eagle swiftly came and carried the pot away. The King tried but was unsuccessful in stopping the eagle. In a nearby forest, the queen (Anjana) of a monkey tribe was doing severe penance to beget a suitable child as their heir. On the advice of Lord Shiva, Lord Vayu (Wind God) stopped the eagle (Lord Garuda) and asked him to transfer the contents of the pot into Lord Vayu’s hand. Lord Vayu then carried the pot to Anjana and advised the queen to consume the contents. Thus making Lord Rama and Lord Hanuman brothers, which explains their legendary friendship.