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Hanuman, a reincarnation of Lord Shiva, was the son of Anjana and Keshari - the powerful Vanara king. Since he was born with the blessings of Vayu, the God of Wind, he was also known as Vayuputra or the son of Vayu. Hence, he had the ability to fly even as a child.
One day, Anjana pointed towards the sun and said to Hanuman, “When you go to the forest to pluck fruits, always choose the ones as red as the sun.” Little Hanuman agreed to follow his mother’s instructions.
One day, he was alone in the palace and started feeling hungry. He looked towards the sun and thought, “That is a huge red fruit! I should eat it to satisfy my hunger.”
He leaped in the air and flew rapidly towards the sun. Surya, the Sun God, was worried about Hanuman’s safety and sought the help of Indra, the King of Gods. Indra arrived on Airawat, the white elephant with four tusks. Indra stopped Hanuman. “Stop, you foolish Vanar! Where do you think you’re going?”
When Hanuman saw the white elephant, he forgot about the sun. Now he lunged forward to grab the white elephant. Indra panicked and attacked Hanuman with his Vajra thunderbolt (a magical weapon carved from the bones of Sage Dadhichi). The Vajra stuck Hanuman on the chin, and he fell unconscious.
Alarmed for his child’s safety, Vayu rushed forward and caught Hanuman before he crashed to the ground. Distraught, he went inside a cave, holding Hanuman in his arms, and stopped the flow of wind on the earth. All the gods were alarmed, as they knew all life forms needed air to survive. Indra rushed to Lord Brahma’s abode and pleaded with him to guide them. He said, “Lord Brahma, please help us. Vayu’s anger will destroy all life on the earth.”
He narrated the incident to Lord Brahma. Lord Brahma contemplated for a moment and said, “We must talk to Vayu before it’s too late.”
He and the other Gods reached the cave. Vayu was livid with Indra. “How dare you attack my boy with a lethal weapon like the Vajra!” he bellowed.
Lord Brahma touched Hanuman’s forehead and healed him. Hanuman opened his eyes. Lord Brahma blessed him, and said, “No weapon, including my Brahmastra, can hurt you.”
The other Gods also blessed Hanuman with several boons such as massive strength, vast knowledge and wisdom, the ability to increase or decrease the size of his body at will, and the ability to change his appearance as and when he wished. Vayu was elated with the boons and thanked the Gods. He restored the airflow on the earth. Lord Brahma and the other gods returned home.
Suddenly, Hanuman heard his mother calling his name. He thanked Vayu and rushed back to his palace. ■