We all know about the favorite devotee of Lord Rama, Lord Hanuman. We tend to think that we know almost everything about him. But do you know he had a son named Makeardhwaj? Yes, it is a bit confusing given that Lord Hanuman is also known for his vow of celibacy. Also, there is not an iota of a chance of him being involved with any woman at all. So, the question is, who is this Makardhwaj? And how fair is this claim?
Sage Valmiki beautifully narrated the story of how Hanuman met his son in the Ramayana he wrote, but before that let's know how was he born in the first place?
How was Makrdhwaj conceived?
We have heard one of many courageous stories of lord Hanuman where he burned Lanka, the golden capital of Ravana to its bones. He literally destroyed that beautiful city as a gesture to make Ravana realize who he is up against. But this task was demanding. Nevertheless lord Hanuman carried it out as if it was nothing more than a sporting event for him.
After blazing Lanka, his body was heated up from all the hooping he did and from the fire he lit up. Also, his tail was burning which he actually used as a torch to burn down Lanka. Because of this, he was sweating profusely. He needed to cool himself down. In the middle of the night, he resorted to the cold water of the ocean. He went down there and took a dip before leaving Lanka.
Here, Hanuman was unaware of the fact that one of the drops of his sweat was ingested by the mighty fish Makara. This drop had enough potential to impregnate that fish, and it did.
According to another version of this story, it is believed that due to heat and exhaustion it was not only sweat that impregnated the mighty fish Makara but the seed of Lord Hanuman was also excreted along with the sweat which caused this miracle.
This is how Makardhwaj the son of Lord Hanuman was conceived.
How did Makardhwaj survive?
This fish was roaming the deep sea when it was captured by the soldiers of the nether-world(Patal-Lok) and the king of Patallok Ahiravan. When they cut this fish open they found a disfigured and strange-looking creature. Instead of killing or devouring it, they raised the creature. Moreover, as he was found inside the womb of the fish Makara they named him Makardhwaj. Makrdhwaj grew up to be a brave and valorous warrior. His courage was evident to the lord of the nether world. Impressed by his virility, King Ahiravan appointed him at the gates as the guard of Patallok.
When Makrdhwaj met his father, Lord Hanuman.
As described by sage Valmiki, once the king of Patallok, Ahiravan leveraged a dark night to abduct Lord Rama and his brother Lakshmana from the seashore in unconscious state. After a while when leaders of Rama’s army realized their absence everyone got stressed. They scoured around and eventually came to know about Ahiravan’s maneuver.
The moment Hanuman came to know about the deed of Ahiravan he gushed at the gates of Patallok. There he encountered a strange creature. He was half reptile and half-monkey, this creature stopped lord Hanuman from going inside the Patallok. Hanuman inquired about as to who he is and why is he stopping him? To that, the creature identified himself as the son of Hanuman, Makardhwaj. Listing to him Hamunan was amused. He said that he himself is Hanuman and it is not possible that he can be his progeny as he is practicing celibacy since his childhood. But Markdhwaj did not budge. He was firm on his stand. Hanuman then went into deep meditation, there he found that Makrdhwaj’s claim was indeed correct and he in-fact is his son.
Hanumanji tried to convince him to step away from his path but despite being his son Makrdhwaj was devoted towards his duties and asked Hanuman to either fight him or go back home. Hanuman had no other option but to fight his own son.
After a cut-throat battle, Hanuman was able to put restraints on Makrdhwaj. He then tied him up and entered the gates of Patallok. Seeing his son fight so well and looking at his devotion towards his duty he was very impressed.
Hanuman then went inside Patallok and liberated Lord Rama and his brother Lakshmana. Also while conducting this operation he had to kill king Ahiravan.
On their way out of Patallok, lord Rama spotted Makrdhwaj and asked about him to Hanuman. Hanuman explained the entire event and told that he is his son. Listening to this, even Rama was impressed by Makrdhwaj. He asked lord Hanuman to untie him. Lord Rama then made him the new king of netherworld before departing back to the seashore.
Know more: Why Kaikeyi asked for only 14 Years of Vanvas for Lord Rama?