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The story of Lord Hanuman from both Ramayana and Mahabharata


There is no village or town in India without a temple dedicated to Hanuman. An unforgettable character in the great epic, the Ramayana, has become the symbol of courage, loyalty and mature wisdom.

There is no village in India without a temple of Hanuman. In bigger towns and cities, there are countless temples of Hanuman.

Men and women, the young and the old, people of all ages and all professions worship Hanuman. Students pray to him for intelligence and soldiers for strength. In olden days there used to be temples of Hanuman at the gates of forts. The gymnasium of wrestlers invariably has his picture.

Every human being has good qualities and bad qualities. But, people believe God has no bad qualities. Our ancestors have taught us that everyone should develop his good qualities and go nearer God. Divinity or being God is only being full of noble qualities.

In our country some men and women have later come to be honored as divine beings, winning the reverence, the devotion and the love of the common people.

Hanuman is one such great soul.

The great poet Valmiki who wrote the ‘Ramayana’ has said that Hanuman belongs to the tribe of ‘Vaanaras’. This would mean he was one of the animals living on trees. Many believe that Hanuman and his companions were, in reality, human beings. Generally, Hindus have thought of Hanuman as a monkey. Hanuman has become another name for intelligence, physical strength, pleasing speech, tact, and discretion.

According to legend, Hanuman is the son of the Wind God. Air sustains all living beings.

One can exist without food, spend days without water; but it is impossible to exist even for a short time without air. Air is life. Therefore, Hanuman is also called ‘Pranadeva or the God of Life’. Some people believe that Bheema and the philosopher teacher Shri Madhvacharya were incarnations of Hanuman.

Madhvacharya worshipping Udupi Krishna

Hanurnantha was a master of music. He was also an expert in dance and drama. So musicians and actors worship him with love and devotion.

He was also a great yogi or mystic. He became holy by his service to Lord Shri Rama and was blessed with Rama’s embrace. He was one of the greatest of God’s devotees.

Hanuman was a great Indian who was born and grew up in Kishkindha in the south; he flew from Lanka to the Himalayas several times; then settled down in Ayodhya. Thus he is a symbol of India’s unity. That is why he is worshipped in every nook & corner of India from Rameshwara in the southern tip to the Himalayas on the north.

The bold baby which snatched at the Sun

There was a heavenly nymph by name Punjikasthale. She was very beautiful. Because of a curse, she was born as the daughter of Kunjara, a monkey, on earth. She was now called Anjanadevi. Once, when she was taking a stroll near a mountain, Vayu, the Wind God fell in love with her. The son born to the Wind God and Anjanadevi was Anjaneya.

Hanuman was extraordinary from the very moment of his birth. There are very interesting stories about him.

Soon after he was born, Hanuman felt very hungry. Looking up he saw in the east something red. Hanuman thought that the red sun was a fruit and flew up to snatch it. What was a child’s whim became something serious. Though the sun’s heat burnt his face, Hanuman was obstinate and continued to fly towards, the sun.

Hanuman trying to catch Surya thinking it is a ball or fruit

Indra, the Lord of Heaven, feared that the sun might be caught. So he hit Hanuman with his terrible weapon Vajrayudha. Hanuman fell and was hurt. His left cheek became swollen. (This is why he came to be called Hanuman. ‘Hanu’ in Sanskrit means the cheek. Sometimes he is called Hanumanta.)

Now, Hanuman’s father, the Wind God became very angry. So he would not move at all. In all the three worlds there was no air to breathe. Then all the gods came and consoled the Wind God. Each god conferred a boon upon Hanuman.

Brahma, the Creator said, “No weapon will be able to kill this boy”. Indra said to the boy, “You will be a ‘Chiranjeevi’(immortal).” Blessed thus by the gods, Hanuman grew up to be as strong as his father. He flew about as freely and was quite mischievous.

The Rishis – the ancient sages – who were troubled by his mischief pronounced a curse on him. Hence, Hanuman would never know how powerful and strong he was. Others would have to explain to him his strength. Only then would he be realizing it.

Meeting With Shri Rama and Lakshmana

When Hanuman grew up he became the minister of Sugreeva, the King of Kishkindha.

Vali was the elder brother of Sugreeva. Once Vali, who was fighting with a rakshasa, entered a cave with his opponent; he did not come out for a long time. Blood began to flow from the cave, so Sugreeva thought that Vali was dead. He returned to Kishkindha and became its king. But a little later, Vali returned and drove out Sugreeva. Sugreeva and his ministers hid in the Malaya mountains; Vali could not enter this region.

When Shri Rama, his wife Seetha, and his brother Lakshmana were in the forest, a rakshasa by name Ravana took away Seetha by force.

Rama was in great grief. He was wandering in the forests and came to Kishkindha. Sugreeva saw him when he came with Lakshmana to the Malaya mountains. Sugreeva and his companions were full of fear that Vali had sent Shri Rama and Lakshmana to kill them.

But Hanuman asked them not to be so afraid. Sugreeva was also very anxious to know who those handsome young men were. Whom should he send to talk to them? Finally, he chose Hanuman.

Hanuman was an excellent ambassador.

He could easily understand the nature of other people. As soon as he saw Rama and Lakshmana, he realized that they were not deceivers, but noble persons. In soft and pleasing words he asked them who they were, and told them about himself.

Sriram meet Hanuman for the first time

Rama was very happy when he heard the words of Hanuman. He said to Lakshmana,

“Did you hear his words? Even an enemy with his sword drawn would be pacified by such words. If a ruler has such a messenger, his efforts will always be successful.”

Hanuman took Rama and Lakshmana to Sugreeva. He had hopes that these brave young men would make Sugreeva king again.

Sugreeva’s Minister – Rama’s Messenger

Rama and Sugreeva became friends very soon. When Sugreeva challenged Vali to a fight, Rama helped his friend by killing Vali with an arrow.

When she heard this sad news, Vali’s wife, Thara was full of grief. She fell on his body, weeping. Hanuman prostrated before her and said,

“Revered lady, Vali came to this condition because of his evil deeds, his own actions. Sugreeva was only the means. Please do not think that Sugreeva killed Vali. No one can live for all times in this world. Look at your son Angada and console yourself.”

Sugreeva then became king. All his troubles were over. The kingdom was his. He forgot his promise to Rama – that he would immediately send servants to search for Sita and find her.

He left the responsibilities of the state to his ministers; he forgot everything in his pleasures.

Hanuman warned him. He did his duty as a minister, saying the right thing at the right time. He said to Sugreeva,

“O King, the kingdom and the fame which you desired are now yours.

If you do not help your friends at the right time, even the greatest help you offer later will be totally useless. Though Rama is very anxious to find Sitadevi, he is waiting for you. It Is already late, but he is a patient man. Please send your army at once to search for Sita.”

Sugreeva sent Neela, one of his commanders, to find out where Sita was. And he returned to his pleasures. The rainy season was over. It was now autumn. Rama’s mind was always filled with thoughts of Sita’s sufferings and sorrows, and he was miserable. He revealed his misery to Lakshmana. Hot blooded Lakshmana was very angry with Sugreeva. He went to see Sugreeva.

His anger made Sugreeva’s subjects shiver with fear. Sugreeva himself was so terrified he did not know what to do.

Again it was Hanuman who gave wise counsel. He said to Sugreeva, “Shri Rama may not be angry with you. Perhaps he was sent Lakshmana to you as his work has been delayed.

When those who are more powerful than we are enraged, it is not wise for us to become angry.

Our anger will only heighten their rage. At such times we should seek to pacify the mighty.

Besides, Shri Rama has helped you and therefore you should behave respectfully towards him.”

This time advice was effective. Sugreeva pacified Lakshmana, and with his entire army went to Rama. He sent the army in all the four directions to find out where Sita was. Vast as the ocean, the army set off with shouts of enthusiasm.

The deafening noise seemed to make the earth shiver. Shri Rama removed a ring from his finger and giving it to Hanuman, said:

“When Sita sees you, she may be afraid of you, or may not believe your words. If that happens, show her this ring. We depend entirely on your strength.”

Hanuman prostrated before Rama and set off.

The Vast Sea before them

Hanuman, Angada, Jambavantha, and others went towards the South in search of Sita. Sugreeva had given them only a month to find her. They wandered far and wide and grew utterly weary. At last, they came to the sea.

They stood before the vast, roaring sea.

The period granted by Sugreeva was over.

So what were they to do?

The brave soldiers of Sugreeva sat bewildered. If they returned to Kishkindha, Sugreeva would certainly punish them. So, Angada suggested that they should fast to death on the seashore. But Hanuman replied, “Angada, that would not be right. Surely Sugreeva will not punish us if we return.” He tried to persuade them in many ways.

But the other’s in their pessimism would not listen to him. All of them spread some Darbha grass and lay down on it, determined to die.

Just then a person by name Sampathi came there. From him, they learned that Sita was Ravana’s prisoner in Lanka. Their joy knew no bounds. They danced about shouting, “Oh! Now we know about Sita!” With great enthusiasm, they turned to the sea. But who could cross the ocean?

One of them said, “I can jump across ten yojanas.” (The ‘yojana’ was the old unit of measurement of distance.) Another said, “I can jump twenty yojanas.” Jambavantha was a mighty warrior, but now old. He said, ‘When I was young, I could leap over any distance. Now I am old and can leap ninety yojanas. But this is a hundred.”

Angada went further – “I can cross a hundred yojanas, and reach Lanka. But I do not know if I will have strength left to come back.” The old Jambavantha consoled them all and said, “Hanuman is the only great hero who can leap over the sea to Lanka and come back.

Let me go and cheer him up and encourage him.” Hanuman was sitting apart from the others and silently gazing on the sea.

You remember that some sages had pronounced a curse upon Hanuman when he was a young boy – which he would not be aware of his strength unless others told him of it. Jambavantha now praised Hanuman’s strength and ability. He said, “No other living creature has your strength, wisdom, and radiance. Why are you sitting quiet, not knowing yourself? You can certainly jump over the ocean.”

Jambavan reminds Hanuman of his strength

What Can Stop Hanuman?

As Hanuman became aware of his powers, great enthusiasm welled up in him. He stood up and after glancing at them all, began to grow. His companions were astonished. As they went on praising him, his stature grew.

He grew so tall that he could jump across the sea. Still, he was very modest. He bowed to the elders and said,

“I am the son of the Wind God who can move in the skies without touching the earth. If need be, I can throw skyward all the water of this ocean and make the three worlds float on water. I will go like lightning and surely see Sitadevi.”

His voice was like thunder. He stood on Mount Mahendra and grew even bigger and then leaped.

Even the gods in Heaven were amazed at Hanuman’s flight over the ocean. They wanted to test his strength; they sent an unearthly spirit by name Surase, from the serpent world, to obstruct him. She appeared before Hanuman in the form of a rakshasi and roared: “The gods have given you for my food. I will swallow you,” “You cannot go further without entering my mouth,” she added.

She opened her mouth, and it was big enough to swallow the huge Hanuman.

Hanuman increased his size further and said, “Eat me if you want but your mouth will have to be much bigger.” Surase’s mouth grew wider as Hanuman’s body grew bigger. Hanuman’s form grew bigger and bigger. Even so, Surase’s mouth grew wider and wider.

Hanuman was clever. He thought there would be no end to this process. Suddenly he shrank to the size of a thumb, entered her mouth and came out. He now stood before her and entreated her with these words –

“Now that I have entered your mouth and come out of it also, please allow me to continue my journey.” Surase was pleased with his cleverness and allowed him to go, wishing him success.

Hanuman moved on. But there was another obstacle. There was another rakshasi in the way and she had a strange power. She would drag down those who were flying above the sea by catching hold of their shadows from below and would eat them up later. She was now overjoyed that she could get food and dragged down Hanuman’s shadow. Hanuman entered her mouth. But once inside, he grew bigger.

Hanuman could see Lanka at a distance.

His joy knew no bounds. But he feared that if he entered Lanka as he was, everyone would see him. So assuming his normal size, he alighted on a mountain near the seashore.

Hanuman Enters Lanka

It was night. Hanuman was about to enter the city. But a goddess stopped him at the city gates. She was the goddess who protected Lanka. She thundered at him: “Who are you? If you wish to enter, you must first defeat me.” Hanuman was enraged.

His left fist came down on her face with a crushing force. The blow made her totter. She begged him for life and said, “The Creator Brahma had said that when a monkey defeated me the end of Lanka would be near. Perhaps the time has now come. Go in and look for Sita.”

Hanuman enters Lanka

Where Is Sita?

Lanka was a city of great splendor. The eyes could feast endlessly on its beauty and wealth.

It was full of grand buildings and lovely gardens.

But Hanuman’s all-important task was to find Seetha. So, he did not pay much attention to the beauty of the city. He searched for Sita in the mansions of important rakshasa leaders like Kumbhakarna. She was nowhere to be seen.

Then he entered the palace of Ravana himself.

And what riches, what beauty and what grandeur! Hanuman was dazed. He searched in all the nooks and corners of the palace but did not see Seetha.

Hanuman’s anxiety grew. Rama and Sugreeva would be waiting with the belief that he would surely bring news of Sita. What answer could he give them? He thought he should not lose hope and went on, with his search with renewed effort. But Seetha was nowhere to be seen.

Hanuman was very much disturbed. Had she fallen into the sea on the way to Lanka?

Or, had her heart burst at the sight of the vast ocean? Or perhaps Ravana had eaten her as she did not marry him? Thoughts swarmed into his mind.

Sita Overjoyed

Hanuman met Sitadevi

Just then he saw the garden Ashokavana at a distance. ‘Oh, I have not looked there’, thought Hanuman and flew to the garden. He combed the entire garden and finally found Sitadevi.

He was in raptures. Seetha was sitting under a tree, in a soiled saree. Her plight made Hanuman both sad and angry. He perched on the tree beneath which Seetha was seated.

Day dawned. The rakshasa king Ravana came to see Seetha. Seetha did not wish to speak to him directly. She held a twig in her hand and replied to Ravana’s words as if she was speaking to the twig. Ravana was very angry and went back. In her grief, Seetha decided to kill herself.

From his perch upon the tree, Hanuman could see and hear everything. He now resolved to address her. But it struck him that if he talked to her all at once, she might be frightened. So he thought of a plan. From where he sat, he narrated the story of Rama. And he said, as if in wonder, “It seems as if Seethadevi is here! “

Hearing a voice from above Seetha was at first afraid, Ravana had just then left. She feared It might be a trick of the rakshasas. But she heard the names of Rama and Lakshmana and their story. She looked up in surprise. Hanuman softly got down from the tree and prostrated before her. He again said that he was Rama’s messenger and praised him. Seetha was overjoyed.

Hanuman showed her the ring which Rama had given him. The sight of the ring brought back all her sorrow. Hanuman comforted her with these words:

”Shri Rama will surely take you from here. Please do not worry. You need not even wait till Rama comes. If you agree with straightaway I can carry you to Rama on my back. Not only you but the entire city of Lanka with Ravana, I can carry on my back.”

But Sita calmed him and said: “Bring Rama and Lakshmana here.” She gave him the Choodamani, a jewel she wore in her hair so that he could show it to Shri Rama.

‘Ravana, Think Over This’

Hanuman had now completed his mission.

But he thought it would be a good thing if he could manage to get an estimate of the enemy’s strength, kill some of the prominent rakshasas and also give a warning to Ravana.

It occurred to him that he put Ravana in a rage if he destroyed the Ashokavana so dear to him.

He set about it and uprooted trees. He pulled from the ground all the creepers bearing beautiful flowers. He trampled upon other plants.

Seeing all this, the rakshasas on duty there ran to Ravana in fear.

Ravana was furious when he heard the news.

But Hanuman destroyed all the rakshasas he sent in the twinkling of an eye.

Ravana then sent his son Indrajithu himself to capture Hanuman. Indrajit was a great hero. He fought with Hanuman for a while and then shot the Brahmasthra. Hanuman wanted to show respect to the weapon carrying the power of Lord Brahma and allowed himself to be tied up by it for a while.

The rakshasas were excited and in great glee.

Hanuman meets Ravana

Indrajit took Hanuman to Ravana’s court.

The sight of Hanuman threw Ravana into a towering rage.

The radiance of Ravana’s face astonished Hanuman.

Even Devendra, the King of Heaven was afraid of Ravana. But Hanuman was fearless. He told Ravana why he had gone there. He said,

“Look, Ravana, it is not proper for you to kidnap Sitadevi and make her suffer like this. You have performed tapas (long prayer and meditation). Just think, can you face Rama? You will be destroyed, and your friends, relatives and this city, too, will be destroyed. Give up this evil way and restore Sitadevi to Rama.”

His words were like adding fuel to the fire.

Ravana’s anger blazed. He ordered the rakshasas to kill Hanuman. But his brother Vibheeshana intervened; he said that it was not right according to the principles of diplomacy to kill the enemy’s messenger.

Ravana agreed with him; he said to his servants,

“Tails are ornamental to monkeys. So set fire to Hanuman’s tail.”

At once the rakshasas wrapped some cloth around Hanuman’s tail, poured oil over it and set fire to it. They paraded Hanuman all over the city.

Now Hanuman was in high rage. Still, he was glad that the rakshasas were showing the whole city to him. He carefully noted the hidden fortresses, the topography, and other useful details.

Then all at once, he leaped high. He freed himself from the ropes. He beat up all the rakshasas following him and stood on a high place. He set fire to all the buildings nearby. The houses of Ravana’s ministers and commanders began to burn. Very soon the whole city of Lanka was in flames.

Hanuman setting Lanka afire

But suddenly Hanuman realized his mistake. In his enthusiasm to burn Lanka, he had forgotten that Sitadevi was there. His heart was about to burst. Quickly he flew to Ashokavana.

He saw Seetha sitting under a tree. His anxiety was at an end. He touched her feet and received her blessings; then he flew back across the ocean.

Jambavantha, Angada and others were waiting for Hanuman. The sight of Hanuman brought them immense relief.

A Hero Without Equal

In his anxiety to get news about Sitadevi, Shri Rama was counting each day. Hanuman narrated all his doings to Rama in detail and also gave him the ornament sent by Seetha. Rama was overjoyed. He said:

“Hanuman has done what no one else in the world could do. I had not seen a hero who could leap across the sea.

He is a very intelligent messenger who has done not only what he was asked to, but also what he thought was appropriate. He is a good messenger who performs the task assigned to him and also what pleases his master. Surely, Hanuman is an excellent messenger.”

Shri Rama embraced Hanuman and praised him highly.

Rama Embraces Hanuman

The War

Preparations were afoot for the war with Ravana. The monkey army marched towards Lanka with great enthusiasm. Hanuman and Angada carried Rama and Lakshmana respectively on their shoulders.

After Hanuman left Lanka, Vibheeshana tried to advise his elder brother Ravana. But was Ravana a person to listen to wise counsel?

So, Vibheeshana left him and surrendered to Rama. There were heated arguments about whether Vibheeshana should be accepted or not. Shri Rama turned to Hanuman for his opinion. The latter said,

“My Lord, allow me to say one thing. I have carefully watched Vibheeshana’s face and listened to his voice when he was speaking. He has no deceit or evil intention. I think You can accept him. But with your matchless intelligence, only you can finally decide what you should do with Vibheeshana.”

Finally, Shri Rama gave shelter to Vibheeshana and his followers.

The Vanara army built a bridge across the sea.

Lanka was to be seized. The war between Rama and Ravana began.

If One Hanuman Is Alive…! Hanuman’s valor rose sky-high in this war.

He dashed rakshasas to the ground or whirled them and threw them up. He crushed to death many a rakshasa heroes like Dhoomraksha and Akampana. The enemies trembled at his very sight. Anjaneya fought so valiantly that Ravana himself praised him as a real hero. Hanuman carried Rama on his shoulders when Rama had to fight with Ravana.

Ravana’s son Indrajit was a great hero of the rakshasa army. He once shot the Brahmasthra, the terrible missile with the power of Lord Brahma, the God of Creation. The whole Vanara army fell unconscious. Even Rama and Lakshmana fainted.

Hanuman who had also fainted for a moment, got up and going around the battlefield with Vibheeshana, put courage into his soldiers with his words. While walking along, Vibheeshana saw the old Jambavantha and spoke to him. The latter opened his eyes slowly and asked, “Vibheeshana, is Hanuman alive?”

Vibheeshana was amazed and said, “Revered Jambavantha, you do not ask about Rama and Lakshmana or Sugreeva, Angada or Neela.

But you ask about Hanuman only; why?”

“Vibheeshana, if that one great hero is alive, even if the entire Vanara army is dead, it makes no difference. But if that one person is dead, our army is as good as dead. We can hope to live only as long as he is alive.”

So replied Jambavantha.

Hanuman, who was standing quite near and heard these words, held his feet with respect and devotion, and mentioning his name, said he was alive. Then Jambavantha said to him, “You have now to do a mighty task to bring our army to life. You have also to save Rama and Lakshmana who have fainted because of the Brahmasthra. Fly across the ocean and over a great distance till you reach the Himalaya mountains.

Hanuman carrying Mrita Sanjeevini Mountain

You will there see a mountain containing all herbs. There grow the herbs Mritha Sanjeevini, Vishalyakarani, Savarnakarani and Sandhanakarani. Fetch them at once and save these soldiers.

Immediately Hanuman flew towards the Himalayas with the speed of thought. He could also see the mountain. But as soon as the herbs understood of his purpose, they disappeared.

Hanuman searched for them and, when he could not find the herbs, threatened the mountain itself in his terrible anger. “See what I will do to you,” he said and shaking the very mountain flew back with it to Lanka. As he streaked across the sky with the mountain it appeared as if the very sun was flying towards Lanka.

The very smell of those herbs was enough to make Rama, Lakshmana, and the whole army recover and sit up. The rakshasas did not want the enemy to know how many on their side had died; so, obeying Ravana’s orders, they had thrown their dead into the sea. So no rakshasa could come back to life. Having achieved his purpose, Hanuman flew back with the mountain to its place, put it there, and hurried again to the battlefield.

After the war was over, Hanuman entered Lanka and stood before Sitadevi and told her of the victory. Sitadevi was speechless for a moment with joy. Then she said that there was no fitting reward she could give to Hanuman who had brought such happy tidings.

“The words you have spoken with such affection are more precious than any heap of diamonds or the divine kingdom. I have seen Rama victorious. What greater fortune can I ask for!”

Hanuman replied.

Rama had now to return to Ayodhya. But he had some doubts. Bharatha had ruled over the kingdom for fourteen years. So he might wish to be the king. How could he find out? Even if Bharatha had that desire, he would not say so.

And nobody could ask him. Some intelligent person should make it out from Bharatha’s face and the way he spoke, and should then inform Rama. It was a difficult mission, which would need much shrewdness and a capacity to understand persons.

Who was to go?

There was only one person whom every one remembered when there was a difficulty to be overcome when courage and intelligence were needed. And that was Anjaneya!

Shri Rama, of course, sent for Hanuman.

He told him,

“If Bharatha has the slightest wish to be king and does not want me to return, come and tell me. I will stay here. You must carefully observe his expression and study his words and find out.”

Hanuman assumed the shape of a man and went to Ayodhya and informed Bharatha of Rama’s arrival. Bharatha fainted with joy. When he recovered he said, “O greatest of men, I do not know whether you are a man or a god. I must reward you for bringing this glad news.”

Shri Rama returned to Ayodhya. His coronation took place with great splendor. Rama gave priceless gifts to all his friends. He also gave an invaluable necklace and ornaments to Sitadevi. But she remembered the great help of Hanuman and gave them to him.

She even took off the necklace and looked at Rama. Shri Rama read her mind and said, “Devi, do please give the necklace to the person who has brought you immense joy and in whom valor, ability, courtesy, and wisdom are embedded forever.” At once, she gave the necklace to Hanuman.

In the Dwapara age, with Bheema and Arjuna

There is a belief that Hanuman lives through all ages, singing the praise of Lord Rama.

When the Pandavas were in the forest, Draupadi requested Bheema for the Saugandhika flower of heavenly fragrance. Bheema went forth into the forest to bring it.

As Bheema was walking fast with long strides, he saw a monkey’s tail across his path. He angrily shouted,

“You ape, remove your tail and clear my way.”

The monkey slowly looked at Bheema and said, “My dear man, I am very old and can’t even move. Push my tail away and walk on.” Bheema was angry, amused and full of contempt. Was it what an unequaled hero like him should do? He tried to push the tail with his mace.

But no, nothing happened. Try as he would, he could not even move that old tail. Then his mind grew clear and it dawned on him that this was Hanuman. With folded hands, he begged his pardon.

On another occasion when Arjuna met Hanuman, he said,

“Rama need not have asked the monkeys to build a bridge. If I were he, I would have built a bridge with arrows.”

“A bridge of your arrows! Leave alone the Vanara army, it will crumble under my feet” replied Hanuman.

Hanuman Arjuna bridge challenge

Well, it developed into a challenge. It was decided that Arjuna should erect a bridge with his arrows and Hanuman should walk on it. If the bridge collapsed, Arjuna should jump into the fire; otherwise, Hanuman must adorn Arjuna’s banner.

Arjuna built a bridge with his arrows. No sooner did Hanuman set one foot on it then it broke into pieces. Arjuna got ready to jump into the fire.

Just then, Sri Krishna reached the place.

He asked them to repeat their performances.

When Arjuna erected the arrow-bridge, Krishna touched the bridge with his divine hands as if to test it. Then when Hanuman danced on it heavily, it did not even shake. Hanuman kept his word and entered Arjuna’s banner. So runs a story.

Hanuman is a Chiranjeevi, he is immortal. Even today many people believe that if the Ramayana is being read or recited anywhere Hanuman stands there unseen and sheds tears of joy.

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