When Bhima was humbled
There is an interesting story from Mahabharata about Bhima and Hanumana. This may sound strange but Bhima and Lord Hanumana can be termed as brothers, as they both are born to Lord Pawan, the god of winds. While Hanumana was a constant companion of Lord Rama in treta yuga, Shri Krishna was in company of Arjuna, Bhima’s brother, in the Mahabharata.
When Arjuna was away
Arjuna, the third pandava, had gone to the Himalayas in quest of great weapons from Indra. In case of a war, he would have to face great warriors like Bhishma, Drona, Kripa, Aswatthama, Karna many more. And it was necessary to acquire more skill and power. The other four pandavas and Draupadi found life devoid of joy in his absence. Desiring a change in life, they moved in search of a more peaceful place.
At last they came to the Narayanasrama forest. They decided to take rest and stay there for some time.
The flower and request to Bhima by Draupadi
One day, the wind placed a flower near Draupadi. The sweet scent of the flower mesmerized Draupadi. Draupadi felt a deep desire to possess that flower known as Saugandhika. She requested Bhima to get her that flower. Bhima agreed to to satisfy her desire. He set out in the direction from which the fragrance came.
Bhima meets the monkey
On way to the flower, Bhima found an old monkey resting on the path. He asked the monkey to give him way as he was obstructing his path. In reply, the monkey politely declines saying that he was old and weak. Bhima got angry and said that he was talking the greatest mace warrior and possesses great power. The monkey replies that if he has such strength, why don’t he himself make way by moving the monkey.
Bhima and Hanumana
Bhima, out of pride and confidence, 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”.
The monkey tells about himself
Now, smilingly, the old monkey tells that he is Hanuman, his brother, who crossed the ocean in search of Sita. He said –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 Hanumana and requested him to show his huge form in which he jumped over the sea, one hundred yojanas wide, to land on Lanka.
Lord Hanumana shows his virata form
Hanumana 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 also increased. Hanuman wanted to free his brother Bhima from his ego and to give him greater strength to fight his enemies.
Hanuman shows his true form