“April 6th was a most auspicious date for those of the Christian faith as well as those of the Hindu faith,” said El Dorado Shiv Mandir (ESM), Maha Sabha Branch No 51 president Nirmala Harrylal, this week. “Good Friday commemorated the crucifixion of Jesus Christ and Christians worldwide observed this day with great humility and reverence. Also, on this day, Hindu brothers and sisters world over observed the occasion of Hanuman Jayanti or the Birth of Sri Hanuman.” In commemorating Hanuman Jayanti, the devotees of ESM hosted its tenth Akhand Chaaleesa (singing 108 Hanuman Chaaleesa), as well as to celebrate its 100th anniversary and 28 years of continuous Sunday morning worship.
Harrylal added: “Hanuman Jayanti is widely celebrated in Trinidad & Tobago to commemorate the birth of Lord Hanuman. He was born to (Wind-God) Kesari and Anjani. According to legends he was born as a monkey god to serve Parmatama Lord Ram. “Hanuman was given birth after a number of divine events. Anjani performed penance and Lord Shiva was pleased, so blessed her. He was granted a son after Vayu, the Wing God also blessed him.” The president continued: “Hanuman was born on the chaitra Shukla Purnima (Full moon day on the Hindu Calendar Month of Chaitra) and is also called by the names, Maruti, Pavanputra, Bajrangbali and Mahavira. “Lord Hanuman is worshiped either along with Lord Ram or separately in temples. Also known as an avatara of Lord Rama, he is considered the God of power (Maruti). He was a brahmachari or celebrate. Hanuman became a legend mainly for his unflinching devotion and loyalty for Paramatma Lord Ram. “He was an ideal karma yogi for his fearless, selfless service, humility and devotion for Lord Ram. Lord Hanuman is the only deity that cannot be troubled by negative energies. Hanuman is considered as a symbol of strength and energy.”
In celebrating Hanuman Jayanti, the devotees of ESM hosted its tenth Akhand Hanuman Chaaleesa. This event took the form of singing uninterruptedly the Hanuman Chaaleesa. Harrylal pointed out: “The Hanuman Chaaleesa represents 40 verses of praises to Lord Hanuman. “It is said in one of the verses that whoever recites the Chaaleesa 100 times will be freed from all manner of bondage and attain great happiness. Popular local pandits, singers and musicians chanted the Chaaleesa.” The Akhand Hanuman Chaaleesa also saw devotees performing puja five times during the day along with the planting of 108 Shri Hanuman Jhandis. Harrylal said: “This was a highly charged religious experience for hundreds of devotees who came as early as 5:30 am at the temple and stayed till the night when all the 108th Hanuman Chaaleesa was sung. “Many devotees made their pledges for good health, strength, happiness. What a blessed day was April 6th 2012?”