I grew up watching Ramayana and Mahabharata TV series which was telecasted on Dhoordharshan channel. I vaguely remember my grandma say that Hanuman is an avatar of Shiva to help Vishnu (Ram) to destroy the evil. Is this true? Is Lord Hanuman a form of Shiva ?
Yes. Lord Hanuman is Rudra avatar of Lord Shiva as per shiva puran. Mother of Lord Hanuman Pleased Vayu devata and Lord Shiva to have son. Vayu devata gave her boon of son and Lord Shiva was asked to give son who is exactly like him. So Lord Shiva granted Anjanimata boon that his 11th Rudra will take birth as her son and Lord Hanuman born.
In hanuman chalisa
Shankar suvan kesri Nandan
Tej pratap maha jag vandan
As a descendant of Lord Shankar, you are a comfort and pride of Shri Kesari. With the lustre of your Vast Sway, you are propitiated all over the universe.
No Hanuman is not an avatar of Lord Shiva. Hanuman is an incarnation of Vayu .There are many references from the scriptures.One such example:
अतो रोचननामासौ मरुदंशः प्रकीर्तितः रामावतारे हनुमान्रामकार्यार्थसाधकः ।
स एव भीमसेनस्तु जातो भूम्यां महाबलः ॥ Garuda Purana 3.16.68 ॥
When Lord Rama incarnated on Earth, Vayu was born as Hanuman for rendering assistance to Rama.
There is also a popular shloka on Hanuman which is :
Manojavam marutulya vegam jitendriyam buddhimatam varishtham
Vatatmajam vanar uth mukhram Sri Ramdootam shirisa Namami.
Here vatatmajam =vatatma[vayu]+jam[born]. Vatatmajam means vayu was born (abhivyakth) as hanuman
Yes. Hanuman is avatar of Rudra or Shankara as mentioned in Chapter 20 Satarudriya Samhita of Shiva Purana.
एकस्मिन्समये शम्भुरद्भुतोतिकरः प्रभुः। ददर्श मोहिनीरूपं विष्णोः स हि वसद्गुणः॥ ३॥
The virtuous Siva, who is engaged in various types of sports, once witnessed the Mohinī form of Vishnu.
चक्रे स्वं क्षुभितं शम्भुः कामबाणहतो यथा। स्वं वीर्यमपातयामास रामकार्यार्थमीश्वरः॥ ४॥
तद्वीर्यं स्थापयामासुः पत्रे सप्तर्षयश्च ते। प्रेरिता मनसा तेन रामकार्यार्थमादरात्॥ ५॥
तैर्गौतमसुतायां तद्वीर्यं शम्भोर्महर्षिभिः। कर्णद्वारा तथाञ्जन्यां रामकार्यार्थमाहितम्॥ ६॥
Like a person suffering from lust, Siva at the instance, the saptarsis, (the Seven sages) carried the semen of Siva, for the purpose of Šrī Rāma, with respect, over the tree leaf and inserted the same in the ear of Anjani the daughter of Gautama, through ear to her Womb.
ततश्च समये तस्माद्धनूमानिति नामभाक्र। शम्भुर्जज्ञे कपितनुर्महाबलपराक्रमः॥७॥
Then after some time, Siva appeared in the form of a monkey by name of Hanuman who was quite valorous.
However, Chapter 8 Kedarakhanda- Maheshwara Khanda of Skanda Mahapurana mentions Hanuman as avatar of Nandi . But Nandi is again partial avatar of Shiva which indirectly makes hanuman as avatar of Shiva.
- Nandi, the son of Silada, who was a favourite follower of Siva, incarnated as the great monkey Hanuman for rendering assistance to Visnu of unmeasured splendour.
The above difference could be due to Kalpa Bheda.
As far as Valmiki Ramayana is concerned Hanuman is son of Wind god. There is absolutely no mention of Hanuman being Siva amsa or Avatara. Even Uttara khanda of Valmiki indicates Hanuman as son of wind god only. Infact Valmiki Ramayana reinforces that Hanuman is avatara of wind god only.
Shiva Purana does refer to Hanuman as avatara of Shiva.
The famous tamil Ramayana i.e. Kamba Ramayana of 9 th century A.D. says that Hanuman was son of Wind god (Vayu) who intially invested his energy in Hanuman. Later, Siva also invested his energy in Hanuman.
Yes, Sri Hanuman is considered an incarnation of Lord Shiva or Rudra both in the Tantra and the Vaishnava tradition. The mantra on the above yantra describes Hanuman as 'Rudraatmaka' ie an Incarnation of Lord Rudra.
According to SriVaishnava-Matabja-bhaskara(82)
In the chaturdashi tithi of krishna paksha of the month of Kartika, Lord Shiva appeared as Kapisvara Hanuman.On that day, the devotees should celebrate the birthday of Sri Hanuman with vows and festivals.
So the ShriVaishnavas also worship Sri Hanuman as incarnation of Lord Shiva.
He has powered by of both Vayu and Rudra and there is no contradiction in it.Devi while killing Mahisaasura was powered by ALL the Devas.
No he is not.
Here are the names of the 11 Rudras (None of them are called "Hanuman"):
“Aja. Ekapada, Ahivradhna, the unvanquished Pinakin, Rita Pitrirupa, the three-eyed Maheswara, Vrishakapi, Sambhu, Havana, and Iswara--these are the celebrated Rudras, eleven in number, who are the lords of all the worlds. Even these eleven high-souled ones have been mentioned as a hundred in the Satarudra (of the Vedas).”