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Stories of Hanuman in Jain Ramayana

There are numerous retellings of Valmiki Ramayana and this article is based on the stories of Hanuman in Jain Ramayana.

Each retelling is based on the teachings and ideas of a particular religion or community or sect. In Jain retelling of Ramayana, the main difference from the original is that Hanuman is not a celibate.

Here is the synopsis of the story of Hanuman in Jain Ramayana – the story from Paumacariya (meaning the deeds of Padma – the Jain name of Sri Ram) of Vimalasuri.

Difference Between Valmiki Ramayana And Jain Ramayana Related To Hanuman
  • Hanuman is not mentioned as an Amsha Avatara of Shiva.
  • He is the son of a Vanara who has a name sounding like Pavan – the Hindu wind god.
  • Hanuman is a relative of Ravana.
  • Hanuman marries relatives of Ravana.
  • He allies with Sugriva through marriages with family members of Sugriva.
  • Hanuman is at first angry at Sri Ram for killing a relative of Ravana.

As per Vimalasuri’s retelling Hanuman belongs to the Vanara lineage. Vanara and Rakshasa (to which Ravana belongs) belong to the Vidyadhara lineage. This lineage consists of super beings who can change shape at will and also fly.

Hanuman’s father in this version is a Vidyadhara prince named Pavanagati and mother is Anjana Sundari. Due to some misunderstanding both Pavanagati and Anjana Sundari stay separate. But the couple meets in secret and Anjana gets pregnant.

The in-laws of Anjana who are not aware of the secret meeting banish her to the forest and here she gives birth to a radiant son. Anjana’s maternal uncle rescues her from the forest; while flying in a flying chariot the baby falls down and hits rock. The baby suffers no injury but the rock shatters into pieces. Sending signals around the world that a super being has born on earth.

The boy is raised by maternal uncle in an island named Hanuraha and the baby gets the name Hanuman.

Hanuman grows into a handsome prince and marries Anangakusama, daughter of Ravana’s sister. Thus Hanuman is closely related to Ravana. He fights numerous enemies of Ravana.

Impressed by Hanuman’s powers, Ravana gives him a niece as second wife.

Hanuman then allies with King of Kishkindha – Sugriva. He also marries several relatives of Sugriva.

Hanuman and Sugriva then meets Sri Ram who is searching for Mata Sita. Hanuman immediately returns to Lanka. Numerous adventures take place including the mayhem in Lanka, meeting of Mata Sita etc.

Hanuman fails to convince Ravana and returns to Sri Ram. He joins in the war against Ravana and performs several heroic deeds.

After victory over Ravana, Hanuman and his clan celebrate for several years. Later he is disillusioned with the world takes initiation from a Jain monk and achieves liberation.