Sri Hanuman was the greatest devotee of Lord Rama. Lord Rama and Seeta considered him to be their first son. Hanuman would be ready to do anything for Lord Rama, ever at His service.
Once Hanumanji saw Seeta applying sindoor on her forehead. It is a tradition for all married ladies to apply sindoor. Being a brahmachari, ever immersed in chanting the name of his Lord, Hanumanji was unaware of the purpose of married ladies applying sindoor. Innocently he asked Seeta why she applied sindoor daily on her forehead. She smilingly replied that by applying, it would increase the longevity of her Lord, Sri Rama. She did not mention the word “husband” but addressed Rama as her Lord. Infact Rama was the Lord of Sri Hanumanji too.
Having now known the reason for applying sindoor, Hanumanji thought that if by applying a little bit of sindoor the longevity of the Lord would increase, why should he not apply it to his entire body? That would indeed increase the life-span of Lord Rama a lot more. Seeta’s words went straight into his heart. He waited for Seeta to leave her room and then immediately went inside. He saw the little sindoor box on the table. He was not satisfied. He wanted lots more and searched around. There in one corner he found a big jar full of orange powder stacked up. He quickly brought some water, poured it into the jar, stirred it and poured the sindoor all over his body. He was dripping from head to toe with the sindoor liquid!
With the wet sindoor dripping all over and a huge victorious smile on his face, Hanumanji came to the darbar. Everyone was shocked to see Hanumanji in this new avatar. Some of them were amused also. Sri Rama also was taken aback, but knowing that Hanumanji never did anything without a sound reason asked him to explain why he had drenched himself in orange colour. Seeta immediately understood and smiled! Hanumanji narrated his conversation with Mother Seeta and said that he had applied sindoor all over his body in large quantity wishing for his Lord Rama a very…very long life!! The Lord, seeing Hanumanji’s devotion for him was supremely happy.
Hanuman knew that Lord Rama was the incarnation of the Supreme Personality. But still, due to his unlimited love towards Lord, he thought of applying sindoor to his body for the Lord’s sake!!
From then on, Hanumanji is worshiped as Sindoora Varna Hanuman and it is a tradition to offer sindoor to Sri Hanumanji in temples, and this is distributed as prasad.
[PS: I request all to please forward and share these value based stories rich in our culture and tradition to elders, youth and children]