According to Hindu mythology, Anjana is the mother of Lord Hanuman, otherwise known as the “Monkey God.” Although Anjana was an aspara, a female spirit of the clouds, she was cursed by a sage to take form as a monkey on earth. Despite this curse, Anjana was a pure and devoted being, and was ultimately relieved of the curse through the gift of her son Hanuman.
During her time on earth, Anjana married a vanara chief named Kesari. Since the couple remained childless, Anjana prayed to become better and repay her karmic debt for the curse. In doing so, Anjana symbolises the universal strive to liberate the divine from animalistic suffering.
Her devotion is rewarded by the immaculate conception of Hanuman. Vayu, god of the wind, delivered the divine power of Lord Shiva and Parvati to Anjana’s womb, and so Hanuman was born as an incarnation of Shiva. Hanuman’s monkey-like features are attributed to Anjana’s status as a vanara at the time of his birth.
Anjana is a powerful symbol of the struggle between spirituality and earthly reality. In the tale of Hanuman’s conception, the inner divine mother is trapped in animal form by her own karma. Through penance and devotion, she is able to relieve herself of this suffering; a timeless moral to an ancient story.