Hanuman, in all versions of Ramayan has been depicted as a celibate. However there is one telling which puts him down as a married man. Not quite popularly told today, but according to Parashar Samhita he was married to a woman by the name of Suvarchala, and often referred to as Suvarchala Anjaneya. A temple in Ongole, Andhra Pradesh even has a temple dedicated to this form of Hanuman and this is one among his nine different forms. The author of this Samhita was a sage Parashar. It is important to note that this was not the same sage Parashar who has been designated as the father of Sage Vyasa.
According to this Samhita, Hanuman was the disciple of Surya, the Sun God. Surya was supposed to be proficient in nine different powers and had already taught Hanuman, five of them. However, there was a problem when it came to the other four. The rest of the four were meant for married people . This posed a problem for the eager disciple and the master too. It is said that the Gods were also worried as the nine divine powers were necessary for Hanuman as he would need them to assist Lord Vishnu’s avatar as Rama.
Hanuman was keen, but did not quite want to break his celibacy. The search for a solution was handed over to the guru himself. Surya had a daughter called Suvarchala, who had dedicated herself to penance. It was decided to get both married and each could keep their own vows and paths. Thus after the marriage of Hanuman and Suvarchala, presided by none other than Lord Surya himself, Suvarchala went on to practice her penance, leaving Hanuman married, but celibate and clearing the way for his knowledge acquisition.
Local lore refers to the efficacy of uttering a mantra which refers to the marriage of Hanuman. This is based on a story that a Brahmin despite being proficient in the Vedas, was not doing very well financially. He approached Sage Parashar and sought his intervention. The sage, himself an ardent follower of Hanuman, suggested that he utter the said mantra. However, there were two important problems in the recitation of the mantra by the Brahmin; one, he didn’t pay respects to his guru before reciting the mantra and the second; he did not display full faith in the said mantra. Obviously then, the mantra failed to achieve its purpose. Around the same time a poor tribal who had been afflicted with a deadly disease approached the sage, and he too was prescribed the same mantra. The tribal uttered the mantra with all faith and was soon cured and the Brahmin was finally convinced about the powers of the mantra.
This tells us about the importance of the institution of marriage and how one cannot be proficient in knowledge unless one goes through all aspects of life and who could be a better person to depict this aspect, but a well-known life-long celibate than Hanuman himself?
One can also read about the son of Hanuman in – Makaradhwaj and Hanuman
Story by – Utkarsh Patel
Source – Parashar Samhita
Location – Pan-India
Image source – Indiadivine.org