Vanara Gita 17: Hanuman’s Yogic power is addressed as his wife Suvarchala

Vānara Angada offers the following prayer:

Mātā suvarchaladevi pita may vāyunandana

Bāndhavā Hanumad-bhaktāha svadeśo bhuvanatraya.

Suvarchala Devi (wife of Hanuman) is my mother; Hanuman is my father. All devotees of Hanuman are my relatives. To me the three planes of existence exist within my nation itself!

Angada was the son of King Vali. Angada was an unsurpassed warrior. On one occasion his prowess caused extreme surprise to Hanuman. Angada played a very significant role in Ramayana. From the time the Vānaras set out in search of Mother Sita, until the coronation of Lord Rama as the King of Ayodhya, intermittently Angada’s reference keeps coming up in Ramayana.

It is very rare to come across a temple consecrated for both Hanuman and his wife Suvarchala Devi. Yet, it is not that such temples do not exist at all. Occasionally, at certain places we do find temples wherein both of them have been installed.

The popular belief is that Hanuman is a celibate (Brahmachari). If we read the Paraśara Samhita in great detail and completely absorb its contents, if we attentively go deeper into the story of Hanuman and recapitulate his life story in minute detail we will understand about Suvarchala Devi. Suvarchala means Sun’s illumination. It reflects radiance.

Often people say that it is wrong to even think of Hanuman as a married man. This is yet another misconception. Debates as to whether this Lord is a celibate (Brahmachari) or a householder (Grhasta) are not uncommon. It is true that Hanuman has a celibate form.

It is wrong to interpret divine stories with a human perspective. We should not treat deities like humans. It is wrong to speak about Guru and God as if they are ordinary humans with worldly needs. Only when divinity in them is seen and respected, and their stories read with faith, the deepest secrets hidden behind the stories begin to be understood by the mind. There is no other way to understand the hidden secrets behind the divine stories.

Suvarchala is the daughter of the Lord Sun. Sun God is Hanuman’s Guru. As a Guru dakshina (fees that is rendered to a Guru upon completion of education), the Sun God asked Hanuman to marry his daughter Suvarchala. All our ancient puranas contain this story. Together with Suvarchala Devi, He resides on the Mountain Gandhamādana.

‘Suvarchala’ means absolute illumination. ‘Suvarchala’ thus means Hanuman’s Yogic power. His inner illumination (shakti) grew so vast that he could no longer enclose it within him. It can be said that he pulled it out and gave it a female form of Suvarchala. Thus Suvarchala, his wife, is none other than his Yogic energy, primordial cosmic energy (atma shakti) or power of penance (tapa shakti).

She fulfills the desire of those who seek divine radiance. Our Lord Hanuman is eternally seated immobile, engrossed in very deep meditation. Whenever we pray to Hanuman, it is actually Suvarchala Devi who fulfils them. As radiance and power always encircle the person, we can say that Suvarchala Devi never leaves her husband’s side.

Hanuman, who chooses to remain eternally in contemplation of Lord Rama, has, out of his compassion for his devotees, retained his divine energy and power outside of him and given it a female form of Suvarchala. Whenever a devotee prays or seeks anything, it is actually Suvarchala Devi who fulfills it while Hanuman is engrossed his Rama japa. With this plan, Hanuman has ensured that he is undisturbed in his dhyana (contemplation). Happily He is reciting ‘Rama, Rama, Rama’ endlessly without any disturbance, while his shakti (energy) Suvarchala Devi is fulfilling the needs of all his devotees.

All of us have heard the story of Dhruva. When he was unloved by his worldly father, he sought the divine father. He proudly claimed that to him the Divine father was his father, mother and relative in this universe. We too should adopt this approach.

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