Tag Archives: Mahabharata

Bhima meets Hanuman – Lifting of the tail!

Hanuman and Bhima

The Pandavas were in exile living in the forest for twelve years. One day, as they were moving around in the forest, a gentle breeze carried along with it a beautiful celestial flower known as Saugandhika and dropped it on the ground in front of Draupadi. Draupadi was wonderstruck at the beauty of the flower and the divine fragrance emanating from it. She longed to have more of those flowers and requested Bhima to get them for her. Bhima obliged and went in search of the flowers.

Bhima walked through forests and mountains, roaring and thundering and exhibiting his might and strength.  Suddenly on his route, he found a huge, old monkey lying on a rock. Its long tail was obstructing Bhima’s path. Bhima shouted at the monkey to move away from his path. The monkey got up as if from sleep and asked Bhima who he was and why he was creating so much of disturbance in the otherwise quiet environment of the forest. Bhima boasted about himself and told the monkey that he was one of the Pandava brothers and that he was the son of Vayu and the brother of Hanuman. Again Bhima asked the monkey to move away, but the monkey replied that he was too weak and had no energy to move his tail. He asked Bhima to push his tail aside and move on.

Bhima, the most powerful and strong who had the strength of ten thousand elephants was now being asked by an old monkey to lift its tail! He was furious by this time. He tried to push the monkey’s tail aside with his mace but could not move it even by an inch. He was surprised! Bhima tried again and again to move the monkey’s tail with all his might but miserably failed. Exhausted, Bhima realized that this was no ordinary monkey. With folded hands he requested the monkey to reveal his true identity.Then, Lord Hanuman revealed his true form. Bhima was overjoyed to see his brother Hanuman. They both embraced each other joyfully.

Lord Hanuman told Bhima not to be arrogant of his might and strength, and this was just a lesson for Bhima to remain humble. Hanuman also advised him on the duties and responsibilities of the various categories into which the society is divided into – the intellectuals, the warriors, the tradesmen and the working class.  Bhima asked Hanuman to show him his huge colossal form with which he had crossed the ocean in search of Seeta. Hanuman showed his magnificent, effulgent, gigantic form to Bhima. Bhima was overwhelmed to see the awesome form of Hanuman and saluted him again and again. Hanuman showered his grace and blessings on Bhima and promised Bhima that during the Kurukshetra war, he would be on their side as a source of inspiration, might and strength. Hanuman also told Bhima that his thunderous roar would resonate along with terrible roar of Bhima during the war which would send shivers down the spine of the Kauravas. Hanuman also told Bhima that he would adorn the flag-post of Arjuna’s chariot and lead them on the path to victory. 

Keep the attitude of the humble-servant of the Lord and watch how your work can progress..... when ego rises in us, the harmony is lost and thereafter our work​ dims in its divine glow. He alone is the Sole Doer and Accomplisher; we are, at best, only mere instruments​. - Swami Chinmayananda

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Akshaya Paatra

When the Pandavas went into exile to the forest for twelve years, the eldest of them, Yudhisthira invoked and prayed to Lord Surya Narayana. Pleased with his prayers, the Lord bestowed on them a vessel, AKSHAYA PAATRA – the “Inexhaustible Vessel” – which would yield not only all varieties of food, but also any amount of food all through the day. But there was a condition associated with it. The miraculous vessel would yield food only so long as Draupadi, the wife of the Pandavas had not eaten. Once she had taken her food, the vessel would cease to yield anymore food for that day.

Duryodhana, the Kaurava Prince heard of the ‘Akshayapaatra’. Overcome with extreme jealousy, he wanted to harm the Pandavas and was waiting for an opportunity. Around that time, Sage Durvasa came to Hastinapur. Duryodhana and his brothers waited upon and looked after the guest with great respect. Pleased with their hospitality, Durvasa told Duryodhana to ask whatever he wanted and it would be granted. The evil-minded Duryodhana pretended to be very good and told Durvasa that he was very happy to receive the grace and blessings of the Sage, and he wished for the same blessings for his cousins, the Pandavas. Late in the evening, when Duryodhana was sure that Draupadi would have finished her meal for the day, he requested Durvasa to go along with his hundred and odd disciples to meet the Pandavas in the forest. Durvasa agreed and went along with his disciples to the forest. When Yudhishthira received the news of the Sage, he went forward and very respectfully received the guests, asked them to have their bath in the nearby river and come for their meal. Yudhisthira informed Draupadi about the guests and told her to arrange for their food. She was shocked. She told him that her meal was over, and the Akshaya Paatra would not yield any more food for the day.

Not knowing what to do, in sheer helplessness, Draupadi invoked Lord Krishna. The All-compassionate Lord immediately came and without even allowing her to talk, he told her that he was very hungry and wanted food before any talk. She explained her helplessness and told him that there was no food for anyone including Krishna! He was not satisfied with her answer and asked for the Akshaya Paatra. She brought it and gave it to Him. Lo! there, in one corner of the vessel was a small grain of food-particle sticking to the vessel. Draupadi was embarrassed that she had not cleaned the vessel thoroughly. The Lord gleefully collected the tiny particle, put it in His mouth and with a heave of satisfaction said that His stomach was now full! He asked Yudhisthira to go and bring the guests. When Yudhisthira went to bring back Durvasa and his disciples to his humble dwelling, what he witnessed was nothing short of a miracle. All of them, including Sage Durvasa were suddenly feeling as though they had just then finished their meals, and were also feeling absolutely and completely full! Sage Durvasa knew what had transpired. He prostrated to the Lord and left with his disciples after bestowing his blessings on the Pandavas!


Significance: Draupadi along with the Akshaya Paatra represents the “mind with infinite possibilities”. But one should not pamper and misuse the mind, it is to be used with discipline. This is represented by the vessel yielding “food, but with conditions”. When the mind is empty of worldly thoughts, it gets filled up with the Lord’s Presence — empty, yet full! The sage and his retinue represent various desires in us. The mind does not know how to handle them, because a little bit of the ego (food-particle) is still sticking to the mind-vessel. At this point of time, when the devoted mind invokes the Guru (Krishna), he comes and asks us to surrender our ego unto him. When the ego (food-particle) is offered to the Guru or Lord, as our GURUDAKSHINA, one experiences the ‘STATE beyond desires’ — the State of Absolute FULLNESS within and without!!

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Yaksha Prashna – 6

[This is the concluding post of the Yaksha Prashna Series and is in continuation of the post – Yaksha Prashna – 1 , 2, 3 , 4 & 5 . Lord Yama in the form of a yaksha asks questions to Yudhisthira (eldest among the Pandavas). In the 1st post 4 sets, in the 2nd post 7 sets and in the 3rd & 4th post 6 sets, and in the 5th 7 sets of questions & answers were posted. In this post, 4 sets of questions & answers have been posted. Link for Yaksha Prasna – 1: http://naadopaasana.co.in/2020/06/03/yaksha-prashna-1/ , For post 2 : http://naadopaasana.co.in/2020/06/09/yaksha-prashna-2/ , For post 3 : https://naadopaasana.co.in/2020/06/16/yaksha-prashna-3/ , For post 4: https://naadopaasana.co.in/2020/06/23/yaksha-prashna-4/ , For post 5 : https://naadopaasana.co.in/2020/06/30/yaksha-prashna-5/ ]

31] Yaksha Prashna : What characterizes a brahmana – Is it birth, character, or study of Vedas?

Yudhisthira Answers : Noble character and conduct, performance of meritorious deeds and a dispassionate personality mark the traits of a brahmana.

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32] Yaksha Prashna :What does a person of agreeable speech gain? What does a person who acts with purposefulness and consistency gain? What does a person who has many friends gain? And what does a person who is virtuous gain? 

Yudhisthira Answers : A person with agreeable speech is endeared by all. He who acts with purposefulness and consistency achieves success. He who has many friends lives happily. A virtuous person earns the respect of all.

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33] Yaksha Prashna : Who is the happiest person? What is the most astonishing factor in life? What constitutes the path to liberation? And what constitutes the greatest, eternal universal message to mankind? 

Yudhisthira Answers : He who is content with whatever he has is the happiest person. The most astonishing and wonderful thing is that even after daily seeing the phenomenon of death, in and around him, the foolish mortal man still desires for immortality and hopes to conquer the inevitable death. That time-tested path walked by the great sages and rishis alone is the path for seekers to tread. In the huge vessel-of-ignorance called the world, with the sun as the fire, and days and nights as fuel, and the months and seasons as the ladle, TIME is cooking all creatures with a variety of EXPERIENCES – this is the greatest eternal universal message to mankind.

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34] Yaksha Prashna : Who is a cultured man? And who is the one who is spiritually wealthy?

Yudhisthira Answers : A cultured man is he who with his meritorious deeds has fulfilled his life here and hereafter. He who remains in equanimity and is completely balanced with respect to the agreeable and disagreeable, to happiness and misery, the past and the future is one who is the wealthiest person (spiritually rich).

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The divine Yaksha was very pleased with all the answers that Yudhisthira gave him. As a boon he told Yudhisthira that one of his brothers would be restored back to life. On hearing this, Yudhisthira asked the Yaksha to bring Nakula back to life. Yaksha asked him why he wanted his step-brother to be revived rather than his own brothers Bhima and Arjuna.

In reply Yudhishthira said, “At no point of time in life should a person give up his Dharma. One who sacrifices virtues and compromises his Dharma is ultimately destroyed. On the other hand, Dharma in turn protects one who lives Dharma: ‘Dharmo rakshati rakshitah’. As the son of Kunti I am alive. I therefore request you to restore to life atleast one son of mother Madri”. The Yaksha was very pleased with Yudhishthira, who was verily the embodiment of Dharma and brought back all the brothers to life. Bhima, Arjuna, Nakula and Sahadeva came back to life.

Yudhishthira realized that it was not a Yaksha who was in front of him, but a Divine Being. He prayerfully asked him to reveal his true identity. The Yaksha was none other than Yudhishthira’s father, Lord Dharma (Lord Yama) Himself who had come to test his son. He blessed the Pandavas who always walked the path of righteousness and told them that in the future success, victory and all glory would be theirs.

[PS: I request all to please forward and share these value based stories rich in our culture and tradition to elders, youth and children]

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Arjuna and Hanuman

Arjuna, one of the five Pandavas was on a pilgrimage. He reached Rameswaram. After the darshan of Sri Ramanatheswara, he was curious to see the Rama Setu, the bridge that was built with rocks and trees by the vanaras. Looking at the bridge, he exclaimed loudly, “all the monkeys wasted their time and energy creating a bridge with rocks and trees. If I were there, I would have created a bridge of arrows within minutes”.

A small old monkey sitting over there heard him, and said that a bridge made of arrows would never have been able to withstand the strength of Sugreeva, Angada, and the whole army of mighty monkeys. Why all of them, it wouldn’t even withstand its own weight said the monkey. Arjuna took it as a challenge and said that he would create a bridge with arrows and the monkey can safely move and jump about on the bridge and it would not collapse. If the bridge collapsed, Arjuna vowed to burn himself alive. The monkey accepted the challenge.

Arjuna created a sturdy bridge with his arrrows. No sooner the monkey touched it with its tail, it collapsed. Arjuna was stunned, but made another attempt and created a more stronger bridge with arrows. Again it collapsed under the weight of the monkey. Defeated, Arjuna decided to enter into fire. Just then a young brahmana came along and seeing Arjuna making arrangements to enter into fire asked for the reason. They told him what had happened. The brahamana said that when anyone takes on a vow, there should be a witness. Now he will be the witness and the challenge should be taken up again in his presence. Arjuna agreed and made a very strong bridge with his arrrows. The monkey jumped on to the bridge. This time the bridge did not collapse!

Arjuna was surprised! The monkey too was surprised, and tried with all its might and strength again and again, but the bridge did not collapse. Finally the monkey assumed its own huge, full form: he was none other than Hanuman. Arjuna was surprised and felt guilty for having entered into a challenge with Sri Hanuman. The bridge did not break down even under the strength of Hanuman. Hanuman was surprised and when he looked under the bridge he found the brahmana who was none other than Lord Vishnu supporting the bridge on His shoulders. Both Arjuna and Hanuman prostrated to the Lord.

The Lord then told them that He alone was Rama and Krishna. Both Hanuman and Arjuna are dear to Him and this challenge was uncalled for. The Lord had come to stop Arjuna from entering into fire. Hanuman was very sad and upset that the Lord had shouldered the entire burden of the bridge along with his own weight. How could he make the Lord, who was his Master shoulder his weight. The Lord then consoled Hanuman saying that in Rama Avatar, he had carried Him (Rama) and Lakshmana on his shoulders and He was ever indebted to him. Carrying the weight of His devotee was the only way He could reciprocate His love for His devotee! Hanuman then promised Arjuna that during the kurukshetra war, when the Lord Himself will be driving his chariot, he would adorn his chariot flag-post and protect him from all danger and lead him to victory. 

[PS: I request all to please forward and share these value based stories rich in our culture and tradition to elders, youth and children]

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