BHIMA AND HANUMAN (Story from Mahabharata)
Arjuna had gone to the Himalayas in quest of
Divine weapons from Indra. In case of war he
Would have to face invincible warriors like
Bhishma, Drona, Kripa, Aswatthama, Karna
And many others. For this it was necessary to
Acquire more power. The other four Pandavas
And Draupadi found life devoid of joy in his
Absence. Desiring a change of scene, they now
Moved on in search of a more peaceful place.
At last they came to the Narayanasrama forest.
They decided to take rest and stay there for a
While. One day, the north-east wind wafted a
Flower near Draupadi. The sweet scent of the
Flower charmed her. Draupadi felt a deep desire
To possess that flower known as Saugandhika.
She requested Bhima to get her that flower. She
Was very insistent. Bhima was only too pleased
To satisfy her least desire. He forthwith set out
In the direction from which the fragrance came.
The way through the forest was far from easy.
Before long at the foot of a mountain he saw
A huge monkey resting on his path, blocking
His way. He asked the monkey to get up and
Clear the way for him. The monkey was in no
Mood to oblige. It said: “I am too old and weak
To move.You can jump over me” Proud Bhima,
Incensed by this insolence, again asked the
Monkey to move. He said ‘You old monkey,
You don’t know who you are talking to. I am
A Kshatriya from the Kuru race. I am the son
Of Kunti and the Wind god. I am Bhima, brother
Of famous Hanuman. So, if you offend me any
Further, you will incur my wrath. I command
You to better get up and move aside without
Wasting my time. The monkey said “If you
Are in such hurry, you can move my tail aside
And go ahead.” Bhima’s threats did not have
Any effect on the monkey. In stead, it asked
“Who is Hanuman. Tell me what is so great
About him. What did he do?” Bhima told him
“How can you be so silly and ignorant? Have
You not heard of the mighty Hanuman who
Jumped over to Lanka, across the sea, one
Hundred yojanas wide, to find Sita , Rama’s
Wife? Indeed you are ignorant” The monkey
Only smiled. Finding no other way, Bhima
Tried to pull the monkey’s tail aside .But he
Could not move it even a little bit. He put
All his might in the endeavor, but to no avail.
He was all perspiration. In spite of his best
Efforts he could not move the tail. As such
The question of challenging this monkey for a
Show of strength did not arise. He felt very
Humiliated and subdued. He told the monkey
“You are no ordinary monkey. Please tell me
Who you are. I accept defeat and bow to you”.
Hanuman said “Bhima, I am that Hanuman
Which name you mentioned a little while ago.
I am your brother. Your path ahead is perilous.
It is the path of the gods and is not safe for men.
So I came to caution you. I knew you have
Come to collect the Saugandhika flower. I
Shall show you the pond, where this flower
Grows. You can collect as many as you want
And go back. Bhima was happy. He bowed
To Hanuman and requested him to show his
Huge form in which he jumped over the sea,
One hundred yojanas wide, to land on Lanka.
Hanuman increased his size till he seemed
To occupy the whole landscape, like a hill.
His form was dazzlingly white ; so Bhima
Had to cover his eyes . Resuming his normal
Form, Hanuman embraced Bhima and blessed
Him. He also assured him “When you roar
Like a lion on the battle field, my voice shall
Join yours and strike terror in the hearts of
Your enemies. I will be there on the flag of
The chariot of Arjuna .You will be victorious”.
With Hanuman’s embrace Bhima’s strength
Had also increased. Hanuman wanted to free
His brother Bhima from his ego and to give
Him greater strength to fight his enemies.
Hanuman then took leave of his brother after
Blessing him. Following Hanuman’s advice,
Bhima collected many Saugandhika flowers
From the pond and went back to present them
To Draupadi, anxiously waiting for his return.