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Brothers meet after a Yuga: Hanuman and Bhima

The sto­ry of Bhi­ma bring­ing the Saugand­hi­ka flow­ers for Drau­pa­di and his encounter with Hanu­man is very famous. Numer­ous artists have per­formed this in the dance forms of Ker­ala.


Draupadi Asks for the Flowers

Dur­ing their trav­els in the forests, Drau­pa­di goes through extreme dif­fi­cul­ties. Unused to such harsh con­di­tions, at some point, she expe­ri­ences great fatigue and unable to move fur­ther. At this point, the Pan­davas seek the help of Gatotkacha who car­ries them fur­ther.

While rest­ing in the for­est, a mar­velous lotus of thou­sand petals and bright as the sun is brought by the wind. The lotus is so beau­ti­ful that Drau­pa­di asks Bhi­ma to bring more flow­ers that they can car­ry to their her­mitage in kamakhya. To grat­i­fy the love of his life, Bhi­ma set on a rapid pace in the direc­tion of the fra­grance. He scaled beau­ti­ful moun­tains and water falls that gave him immense ener­gy to trav­el to regions beyond human capa­bil­i­ty.

Bhima Encounters Hanuman

As Bhi­ma was mov­ing at tremen­dous speeds, he was obstruct­ed by a radi­ant and bril­liant­ly shin­ing mon­key. The mon­key’s huge body was lying like the Himalayas block­ing his path. Bhi­ma uttered a loud shout. Birds and ani­mals went mad at his shout. The pow­er­ful Hanu­man, how­ev­er, open­ing his eyes par­tial­ly looked at him (Bhi­ma) with dis­re­gard, with eyes red­dened with intox­i­ca­tion and smile asked why Bhi­ma woke him with a shout. Hanu­man said that he was an old mon­key and Bhi­ma would have to leap over him. Bhi­ma replies that he can­not leap like Hanu­man. Curi­ous at the men­tion of his name, Hanu­man inno­cent­ly enquired about “Hanu­man” to Bhi­ma. Bhi­ma explained that Hanu­man was his broth­er and described his might in detail.

Bhi­ma thought that using his full strength he could just lift the tail of this mon­key and send him to Yama. Unable to move the tail even by an inch, Bhi­ma was alarmed

Hum­bled by this expe­ri­ence, Bhi­ma asks the real iden­ti­ty of the mon­key. Hanu­man reveals his iden­ti­ty and pleas­es Bhi­ma. Extreme­ly hap­py at hear­ing Hanu­man’s nar­ra­tion of the sto­ries of Rama and Sita, Bhi­ma puts forth a wish to Hanu­man. He prays that Hanu­man may reveal the form that he had dur­ing the era of Ram.

Hanu­man explains the scale of things dur­ing the peri­od of Rama and says that it is impos­si­ble and not advis­able to take that form.

Bhi­ma refus­es to move for­ward with­out see­ing Hanu­man’s form.

Hanuman Takes a Gigantic Form

Hanu­man assumed a gigan­tic body which (both) in length and breadth increased exceed­ing­ly. And that mon­key of immea­sur­able efful­gence stood there, cov­er­ing the plan­tain grove fur­nished with trees, and ele­vat­ing him­self to the height reached by the Vin­d­hya. And the mon­key, hav­ing attained his lofty and gigan­tic body like unto a moun­tain, with cop­pery eyes, and sharp teeth, and a face marked by frown, lay cov­er­ing all sides and lash­ing his long tail. Bhi­ma, behold­ing that gigan­tic form of his broth­er closed his eyes. There­upon Hanu­man addressed Bhi­ma with a smile, say­ing, ‘This is the extent to which you can see me. I can how­ev­er grow beyond this through my own ener­gies.’

He also promised that he would be on the flag of Arju­na and make con­stant nois­es that will dis­cour­age and dis­suade the ene­mies.

Infused with new ener­gy after meet­ing Hanu­man, Bhi­ma set out to get the Saugand­hi­ka flow­ers.

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