Hanuman grew up and inherited his father's activities of quick flying, forceful travel, and mighty strength. Soon after his birth he saw the sun, thought it to be a ripe fruit and took flight to catch hold of the sun to eat.
Indra, the king of gods and the administrator of universal laws, observed this. He hurled his weapon, the Vajra (thunderbolt), which struck Hanuman on his cheeks. Hanuman fell back down to earth and became unconscious. Vayu, the wind god, Hanuman's father, was upset by this and went into seclusion. As living beings began to get asphyxiated, to pacify Vayu Deva, Indra withdrew the effect of his thunderbolt, which had cut Hanuman's two cheeks. Thus he is called Hanuman, for hanu in Sanskrit is the word for cheek.
On ascertaining that Surya is an all-knowing teacher, Hanuman raised his body into an orbit around the sun and requested that Surya accept him as a student. But Surya declined to accept him claiming that he always had to be on the move in his chariot. But Hanuman, undeterred by Surya's travel, enlarged his body. He placed one leg on the eastern ranges and the other on the western ranges, and with his face turned toward the travelling sun, made his request again. Pleased by his persistance, Surya taught all of his knowledge to Hanuman. Hanuman's choice of Surya as his teacher is said to signify Surya as a 'Karma Saakshi', an eternal witness of all deeds.
Hanuman was mischievous in his childhood, and sometimes teased the meditating sages by snatching their personal belongings and by disturbing their well-arranged articles of worship. Finding his antics intolerable, but realizing that Hanuman was a simple monkey yet invincible by the blessings of various celestials, the sages gave him a minor curse. By this curse Hanuman lost the ability to remember his own might, and only recollected it when others reminded him about it. It is hypothesized that without this curse, the entire course of the Ramayana war might have been different, for he demonstrated phenomenal abilities during the war, despite the curse. Hanuman and Vinayaka are two gods who are not afflicted by Saturn. There is also a myth that all the planets are under control on his tail. Whoever worships Hanuman is granted with fortitude and strength.
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