The air reverberated with the collective cry of everyone who had assembled for the Bajrang Bali’s Aarti. At that moment it sounded more like an announcement than a recitation.
It was the annual Hanuman Jayanti celebration in the community of monkeys, the Vaanarkshetra. All monkeys in this community were named on the various names of their revered lord. A bemused little monkey named Anjaneya sat on the shoulders clutching the skull of the daddy monkey and asked “What is everyone saying”?
Daddy monkey replied with a gleam in his eyes “Each one is Bajrang Bali”.
Seeing that little Anjaneya was more confused than convinced by his answer, Daddy monkey brought little Anjaneya close to him and asked “Which is your favorite story of Lord Hanuman”.
Little Anjaneya jumped out of his father’s clutches, plucked a red berry, put it into his mouth and spoke animatedly “the one where Lord Hanuman swallows the sun”.
The daddy said “So, if you are also able to capture the sun, you are also Bajrang Bali. Isn’t it”?
Little Anjaneya’s mind whirred and eyes got bigger with excitement, but soon he realized that his mouth was too small for the sun and also that it could be very hot to touch and too far away to reach.
Little Anjaneya started spending his days at the Lord Hanuman temple, looking at the tall idol and the sun. He’d see the sun rise in the east and traverse its path through the day with varying intensity of light and heat.
Putting the anxious little Anjaneya to sleep one night, the daddy monkey says “Remember, Lord Hanuman did not overpower the sun, he just tried to playfully treat it like a berry”.
Next evening, little Anjaneya took Daddy monkey to the temple and climbed on the wall. He asked him to stand behind the wall and take out the hidden berries from the small opening in the wall.
As the daddy monkey removed the berry, he was blinded by the rays of the setting sun from the other side of the wall. Indeed, the little Anjaneya had captured the sun and learnt the lesson: Har Har Bajrang Bali.
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