The idol of Shri Bade Hanuman ji, situated at the Sangam in Prayagraj, is unique
Prayagraj is a prominent city in the populous state of India, Uttar Pradesh. The party that rules Uttar Pradesh invariably conquers India. Triveni Sangam, the confluence of the Ganges, the Yamuna, and the mythical and invisible Saraswati rivers, is pre-eminently holy for Hindus.
The Sangam is near the 16th-century Allahabad Fort, built by Mughal Emperor Akbar. In the fort are several architectural marvels such as the ancient sandstone Ashoka Pillar, the underground Patalpuri Temple and a sacred banyan tree. The bustling city which is the cradle of “Kumbh Mela” organised once in twelve years is teeming with a large population and is quintessentially catholic and pluralistic.
The history of the idol of Shri Bade Hanuman ji, situated at the Sangam Kshetra of Prayag is unique. The story connected with the history of the idol goes like this. In the city of Kannauj, an opulent trader resided. He was blessed with large sums of money and materials and all the enjoyments of life but tragically did not have a child who could carry on the legacy.
In sheer desperation, the trader traversed to the foothills of Vindhyachal to construct a temple for Hanuman ji to fulfil his wish of being blessed with a son. In the chain of hills of Vindhyachal, the merchant had constructed a huge statue of Hanuman ji out of stone. He decided to bathe the statue of Hanuman ji at several places of pilgrimage.
While bathing this statue of Hanuman ji at different pilgrim spots he eventually arrived at Sangam Kshetra of Prayag. While he was taking rest as the shadows fell, he dreamt that if he would leave the statue at this holy place all wishes would be fulfilled and the hankerings would drop.
At the crack of dawn the following day he decided to work on the lines of the previous night’s dream. Thus, he left the statue at Prayag Kshetra and departed for his city, Kannauj. After a passage of time, a son was born to his wife by the munificence of Shri Bade Hanuman ji.
Sometime later, the huge statue of Shri Bade Hanuman ji got submerged in the waters and embroiled under the sands. Meanwhile, a mendicant Mahatma who was performing penance with Vyaghracharma arrived at Sangam Kshetra in the holy month of Magha to take a dip at Triveni.
One day when the Mahatma was piercing his Trishul in the sand to form his phone, he got an inkling of the statute, through his clairvoyant powers. Mahatma Balgiri began to sift the sand from the spot. He soon spotted the statute of Shri Bade Hanuman ji.
After purifying the Shri Vighrah, he meditated on the valorous qualities of Lord Hanuman. The populace in the neighbourhood was subsumed with the radiance of Lord Hanuman and the devotion and miraculous qualities of sage Balgiri. The aura and fame of Shri Bade Hanuman ji expanded rapidly. It is also believed that Mahatma Shri Balgiri ji Maharaj was bestowed with the mammoth statue of Lord Hanuman. He made valiant efforts to make the statue stand erect but he failed.
Subsequently, the statue was tried to be laid in the fort. After numerous abortive efforts, devotees were unable to remove the idol from its place. Thus, it was concurred that Shri Bade Hanuman ji did not wish to be removed from that place. All efforts were terminated and consequently, the statue was left at the place where it was first established by Saint Balgiri where thousands of pilgrims pay obeisance.
(The writer is the CEO of Chhattisgarh East Railway Ltd.and is a faculty of the Art of Living; views are personal)