Today is Chaitra Purnima, which is also celebrated as the birth date of Lord Hanuman. Though it is well known that Hanuman was the son of Anjani and Kesari, the chain of events leading to his birth is very interesting.
It started when Lord Shiva was very impressed with the celestial dance performed by Mohini, the female form of Lord Vishnu. So enchanted was he by the performance of the enchantress, that he offered her a gift. Mohini asked for the essence of what Lord Shiva stood for. Shiva then gave Mohini the seed of his tapas in the form of a blazing seed. Mohini took the seed and gave it to the sapta-rishis, the seven sages asking them to guard it well as this would take the form of a mighty being who would one day be a great support to Vishnu during one of his avatars on earth. The being would be legendary in more ways than one.
Later at an auspicious hour, the sapta-rishis gave the seed to the wind god, Vayu and advised him to give it to her who was worthy of Shiva’s seed. Vayu was secretly in love with Anjani, the wife of the monkey Kesari. Anjani was also a devout worshipper of Shiva. Once when Anjani was sitting atop a hill worshipping Lord Shiva, Vayu dropped the seed through her ears into her womb.
Before we proceed further, it is important to know Anjani a little better. Anjani was no simple monkey. Anjani was actually an apsara who was an attendant to Goddess Parvati in Mount Kailash. Once during a thunderstorm, she rushed into the arms of Shiva in sheer fear. This upset Parvati so much that she banished Anjani form Kailash and ordered her to live in the jungles with the monkeys! When Shiva realized Paravti’s folly, he blessed Anjani that she would bear a child who would be an embodiment of Lord Shiva.
The seed dropped in Anjani’s womb was soon born as the monkey child, Hanuman who was an embodiment of Shiva both in strength and wisdom. As destined, he went on to be a big support to Lord Ram, an avatar of Lord Vishnu and needless to say that he was legendary in more ways than one.
Lord Hanuman is thus known as Anajani Suta and Kesari Nandan after his parents Anajani and Kesari. He also known by all the names of the wind-god, i.e. Vayu, Pavan and Marut, viz. Vayu-putra, Pavan-putra and Maruti, respectively. Hanuman is also referred to as Raudreya after the Rudra form of Lord Shiva!