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Hanuman Swallowing Chandra or the Moon, the Story

Hanuman jumping towards sun, thinking it to be a fruit is a well known story. There is another story associated Hanuman swallowing Chandra, or the moon. Hanuman was forced to hide the moon in the mouth during the Ramayana war.

During the war in the Ramayana, Sri Ram, Lakshman and large number of soldiers of the Vanara army were rendered insensible by the Brahmastra used by Indrajit, son of Ravana. To bring back Sri Ram, Lakshman and the army into consciousness a certain herb named Mrita Sanjivani had to be brought from the Himalayas. This had to be done before the next moonrise.

Hanuman was deputed to bring the herb. But on reaching the hill, Hanuman was confused as to which was the correct herb. So Hanuman immediately lifted the whole hill and flew towards Lanka.

When Hanuman was passing over Ayodhya, Bharata, brother of Sri Ram, happened to see Hanuman. Bharata thought it was some demon moving over the sky and brought Hanuman down with an arrow.

But on realizing his mistake, Bharatha asked Hanuman to get back soon to Lanka. As some amount of time was lost at Ayodhya, Hanuman to prevent the moon from rising hid it in his mouth.

The Mrita Sanjivani saved Sri Ram, Lakshman and the Vanara army and then Hanuman released Chandra or the moon.

It must be noted that from ancient times Hindus were aware of the importance of the moonlight to herbs and medicinal plants. This incident in Ramayana once again shows the amount of knowledge our ancestors possessed.