Lord Hanuman is one of the most popular gods in Hinduism. He was one of the Hindu gods who never got married and lived a celibate life. Despite being a god, Hanuman never claimed his godly status. Instead, he presented himself as the greatest devotee and a servant of Lord Rama. People know him best for his undefeatable strength and sharp intellect.
Thousands of devotees worship him daily in the hopes of resolving problems caused by their enemies. You can get an idea of his popularity from the abundance of Hanuman temples scattered across every nook and corner of the country.
Yet, most people are just unaware of the existence of his son – Makardhawaja. In fact, as per the legends, Lord Hanuman also didn’t know that he had a son until they got into a fight once in the Patala Loka (or, the nether world).
The Birth Of Makaradhwaja
There are many legends relating to the birth of Hanuman’s son, Makardhwaja. However, only two of them are the most popular. As per the first legend, when Lord Hanuman was returning from the Lanka after destroying many of its palaces and other monuments, he felt a little tired, and his whole body was covered in sweat.
He decided to take a small dip in the sea to cool himself down. However, just as he was about to dive into the water, a drop of his perspiration fell into the mouth of a sea creature, making it to become pregnant without his knowledge.
Later, a fisherman caught the creature and took it to the Patala loka, which was ruled by a demon king named Ahiravana. When the fish-like creature was cut open, a baby creature was found inside its womb.
The baby had the face of a monkey and the body of a reptile. Thus, they named the baby Makaradhwaja. The “Makardhwaja” word is derived from the mythological creature of Hinduism named, Makara (or crocodile).
One thing to note here is that the original Valmiki Ramayana has no mention of such story. It’s just a part of local folklore that has been passed down through generations in many parts of India.
As per the second variation of the story, we only get to see a slight difference. Here, it’s said that a drop of Hanuman’s seed got discharged in the water, rather than a drop of his perspiration. The rest of the story is the same as the first one.
Makardhwaja And Lord Human’s First Meeting
Ahiravana began raising Makardhwaja after finding him in the womb of the sea creature. Later, he was promoted to guard the entrance to a secret chamber where Ahiravana used to practise dark magic to attain supernatural powers.
Makardhwaja, was undoubtedly very powerful, just like his father. That could be the reason, why Ahiravana assigned him the task of guarding his secret chamber.
Just before Lord Rama could cross the sea and enter Lanka to challenge Ravana, Ahiravana abducted him and his brother Lakshmana to his secret chamber. Ahiravana did it on the order of Ravana.
Hearing that two brothers were abducted, Hanuman rushed to rescue them from Ahiravana. When he reached the entrance to the secret chamber, there was his son waiting to stop him from entering the chamber. Makardhwaja gave his introduction as the son of Lord Hanuman.
The Fight Between Hanuman and His Son
Hanuman was amused to hear it at first. He said it’s impossible as he has never been married to someone. When Makaradhwaja told Hanuman about his birth, Hanuman was pleased and blessed him.
Hanuman then urged Makaradhwaja to let him enter the chamber. But he refused and said Hanuman would have to fight and defeat him before he could enter. They then engaged in a fight, with Lord Hanuman emerging victorious.
During the battle, Hanuman purposefully blinded Makardhwaja for a brief period of time to prevent him from causing further disruption. Hanuman then successfully killed Ahiravana and rescued Rama and his brother, Lakshamana, back to their place.
The Temples Of Makardhwaja
Later, upon the advice of Lord Rama, Makardhwaja was appointed as the new king of Patala loka (or, nether-world). Lord Hanuman also recognized his strength, bravery, and other qualities of being a righteous ruler.
Thus, several temples were built dedicated to Makaradhwaja. Some noted temples are located in Gujarat at Odadar village and another at Hanuman-dandi at Bet Dwarka.