According to Ramayana, Lord Hanuman was a Brahmachari (celibate/bachelor). Why did he decide to spend his life as a celibate? What is the reason behind it?
No, Hanuman was technically not a bachelor (Brahmachari). His wife was Suvarchala¹ who was the daughter of Surya (the Sun god). According to Surya, Suvarchala was an ayonija (born without [the participation] of the yoni).
Because he wanted to learn Nava Vyakarnas (the 9 Grammar Rules), he has to marry, and being an Aajanma Brahmachari (life-long bachelor), Hanuman was not eligible to study it. Surya grants him a boon that he will still be a bachelor even after marriage as a Prajapatya Brahmachari and will maintain his celibacy.
I agree with mjosh, Lord Hanuman is married to Suvarchala Devi. Because He Himself is a god(rudra amsa), who has self realization, decided to live a noble life with no space to world marital pleasures. For Him Rama seva(service) is everything and dedicated His entire life in Rama seva. He is not bramhachari but practices bramhacharya.
Sanathana dharma recommends bramhacharya as it keeps all sensory organs, mind, heart under one's own control. It boosts memory and gives mental & physical stability and strength.
Brahmacharyam means celibacy. I would like to clarify that marrying a woman will not disqualify anyone to become brahmachari (celibate). The man who do not discharge (veerya skalanam) his semen is called brahmachari. Even after the marriage a man can be bhrahmachari without having intercourse with wife. This is a very deep subject and one needs lot of wisdom to understand this concept. A man can be brahmachari even after having intercourse with a woman. There are many perfect brahmacharis in Hindu scriptures, Bhishma and Hanuma are best among them.
It is right that Lord HANUMAN was married to SUVARCHALA. As sun means rule "niyam" and out of 8 kala only 3 could be given to unmarried so for the rest 5 sun himself suggested this option to HANUMAN. The marriage was just for the name sake and did not resulted in further activities of marriage or dissolution of brahsmashcharya for Lord HANUMAN. Lord sun himself was witness to the marriage and also for the purity and non-involvement of Lord HANUMAN in the normal aspect of marriage. So the marriage was just name sake to maintain the rule of giving the knowledge of 5kala to Lord HANUMAN.
I do not know of any stories regarding the marriage of Hanuman to a daughter of Sun God. There are various stories created by different writers in India regarding the lives of Mythological Characters which have a local circulation.
One need not comment on them. The story of Hanuman marrying Sun God's daughter, is not accepted all over India.
The story of Hanuman remaining unmarried is, however, common knowledge. It is believed that Hanuman lives as a Spirit for Ever to help distressed Souls .Bodies that live for Eternity like the Earth and Nine Planets and Stars in Heaven, are all lonely bodies.
So it is believed in Hindu Philosophy, that all those who live for Eternity, should be Lonely Characters. The existence of Twin Stars, which co-exist by revolving around a common centre, was not known to the Philosophers of the Past.
As Hanuman is known to all of us from the Legendary Itihasa "Srimath Ramayana" the holy scripture which was visualised and presented by the great Sage Valmiki. Valmiki Ramayana is the only Ramayana that is authentic for all the references and discussions about any body related to this itihaasa. Rest all Ramayanas which are written by great bhaktas and Scholars are baising on their own vision and experiences that they have with the almighty. but can be considered as their own experiences but not as authentic. One of such work is "Parasara Samhitha" which is written in the very recent times and not ancient. It was said that it is not even written by the great sage Parasara as it has very minute grammar mistakes in it. The so called parasara samhitha has given such explanations about Lord Hanumans marriage and Hanuman having Camel as Vahana which are base less.
As far as Suvarchala is concerned, she is not the daughter of Surya but his wife. It was clearly said in Valmiki Ramayana by Goddess Sita to Rama. At the time Rama is leaving to Vanavasa.. He requests Goddess Sita to stay back at Ayodhya. Then Goddess Sita explains to Lord Rama that " like Sachi devi will not be away from Lord Indra, As like Suvarchala Devi will not be Away from Lod Surya. AS like Arundhati will not be away from Sage Vashishta .. I will not and can not live away from You " "Yatha Suryam Suvarchala " is the part of the Stranza from Valmiki Ramayana - Ayodhya Kanda.
So Hanuman is Brahmachari. Suvarchala is the wife of Surya and not the daughter according to Valmiki Ramayana.
In order to understand the marital status of Sri Hanuma, we have to consider the following issues:
Ramayana written by Sage Valmiki is the authentic text on all characters that we find in Ramayana. The Puranas cannot be depended upon, as many of them contain fabricated stories.
Sri Hanuma appears from Kishkinda Kanda of Ramayana. It was not mentioned in the entire Ramayana, whether he was a married or unmarried person.
In Sundara Kanda, while searching for Sita in Ravana's Mansion, he ponders as follows:
न हि मे पर दाराणाम् दृष्टिर् विषय वर्तिनी ||५-११-३८ अयम् च अत्र मया दृष्टः पर दार परिग्रहः |
"My sight is indeed not in the matter of other wives here. These other's wives have been seen by me."
If Sri Hanuma was an unmarried person, then he would have referred to Ravana's wives as "women", instead of other's wives.
- Many warriors in Ramayana were not described in details. Even Indrajit, Angada, etc, were not described to be married.
Can we deduce that they are also unmarried?
- The popular story from Puranas that Sri Hanuma was married to Suvarchala, the daughter of Sun God does not find place in Ramayana. Further, Suvarchala was mentioned as the wife of the Sun God in Ramayana.
दीनो वा राज्यहीनो वा यो मे भर्ता स मे गुरुः | तं नित्यमनुरक्तास्मि यथा सूर्यं सुवर्चला || ५-२४-९
"Although wretched or without kingdom, whoever is my husband, He alone is my master. Like Suvarchala with the Sun God, I am fond of Him always."
So Sri Hanuman could not have married the wife of Sun God.
The concept of remaining celibate might have started with Jainism and Buddhism, later adopted by Other sects.
Sri Hanuman was the follower of DAKSHINAACHARA, i.e., the VEDIC way life. We have to remember that brahmacharya (remaining celibate) is not order of the day in Vedic era.
Exception cases might be there.
In Rig Veda I.179 (P.100), Lopamudra teaches Sage Agasthya the importance of fulfilling sexual desires.
Lopāmudrā teaches it to her husband who was inclined to asceticism. She says that even those ancients didn't find their end destination who, without their worldly responsibilities, just toiled and spoke the Ṛta.
They had to marry, they had to speak their experience, they had to live their life to find the meaning and to achieve the success.
Lopāmudrā says to her ascetically inclined husband that this way of invoking hardship on her by staying away from her doesn't make Agastya complete. He has to fulfill his life before thinking of achieving success in spiritual journey. Passion is responsible for synthesis and guilt is responsible for deconstruction. One who has understood the way to deconstruct and construct achieve the right plane of existence.
Agastya, on hearing the wise words of his wife, rebuilds the kāma in him and returns to his life, his duties.