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Chapter 106: The monkey that subdued Bhima

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 In order to fulfill Draupadi’s wishes, Bhima set out in the direction from which the wind had brought the lotus. The forest was dense with trees and plants, requiring Bhima to uproot several of them to find a path. He warded off many huge elephants and wild animals that came to attack him. After covering some distance he found his passage blocked by a monkey that was lying across in slumber. The angry Bhima bade the monkey move. But the monkey said that the wood Bhima was trying to enter was forbidden to humans.

“You cannot proceed further,” the monkey said. “Only celestials could enter this region. Besides, I am too tired to rise. If you so desire, you may leap over me.”

Bhima said, “It is out of respect that I do not leap over you. Leap I could, even as Hanuman leapt over the ocean to reach Lankapuri.”

“Who is this Hanuman you are talking about?” queried the monkey.

Bhima told him about Hanuman who was the devoted servant of Lord Rama. “Being the god Vayu’s son, I am that great Hanuman’s brother,” said Bhima proudly.

Still desiring to amuse him, the monkey, who was none other than Hanuman, told Bhima, “I am ill. I cannot move. You may, if you want, push my tail aside and proceed.”

Bhima stepped towards the monkey and tried to lift its tail. In spite of using all his strength, Bhima found that the tail would not move. He realized that this was no ordinary monkey. He bowed to it and asked, “Who are you? Are you a
Gandharva or a god?”

Hanuman revealed his true identity to Bhima. “I am the son of the wind god Vayu through Kesari. You are also the son of Vayu, through Kunti. We are indeed brothers.”

Bhima was thrilled to meet his illustrious brother. He asked Hanuman “Is it true that you could assume any form from the size of an ant to that of the Meru hill?”

At Bhima’s request, Hanuman assumed his super form, displaying his ability to become as large as he desired. Reverting to his normal size, he advised Bhima on his duties as a Kshatriya and on the need to uphold truth always. Pleased with his younger brother, Hanuman assured that during the war he would create confusion in the enemy ranks by letting out fearsome roars from Arjuna’s flagstaff. He then showed Bhima the path towards the lake of the divine lotuses and left.

When Bhima reached the lake he was attacked by innumerable rakshasas. He easily scattered them with his might. The defeated rakshasas went running to Kubera to whom the lake belonged. Understanding who Bhima was, Kubera instructed the guardians of the lake to allow him to take as many flowers as he wanted. Bhima returned to the Pandava camp, his hands laden with the lotuses.


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