Wednesday, November 19, 2008

PDE Mahabharata: Bhima and Hanuman


Reading Guide. You might remember that at the end of the Ramayana, Hanuman remained on earth and was to remain on earth for as long as Rama's story was told... which means he is still here with us now! He was also on earth at the time of the events of the Mahabharata, and in this episode you will see his encounter with Bhima, who is Hanuman's half-brother: they are both sons of Vayu, the wind god.

SourceThe Mahabharata, A Summary by John Mandeville Macfie (1913). [400 words]




Himalayas | 46. Bhima and Hanuman | Gandharvas


One day when Bhima went to gather lotuses for Draupadi, he found a monkey lying on the path in front of him. When the monkey would not get up, Bhima tried to lift it by the tail, but though he used both hands, he could not move it. This was very wonderful, as on the way Bhima had amused himself by killing lions and tigers and elephants, using dead elephants as a weapon to knock down and kill others. When Bhima realized that this was no ordinary monkey, he asked it to declare who it was.

The monkey told him that he was Hanuman and also gave him an account of his adventures with Rama.

At Bhima’s repeated request, Hanuman showed himself in his real gigantic shape and discoursed for some time on the duties of the different castes. He also said that in the first age or Krita Yuga, there was no need of performing any religious act; there was no malice or pride, or any kind of sin, there were no gods or demons. Brahma was attainable by all; all men were equal, and the four Vedas did not exist. In the Treta Yuga, sacrifices were introduced, men clung close to virtue, and were devoted to asceticism. In the Dwapara Yuga the Vedas were divided into four parts, and virtue decreased by one-half. With the division of the sacred books, men became divided in opinions and in the observance of different religious rites. They became less devoted to truth and more subject to passion. Falling away from truth they became subject to disease and many other calamities. Selfishness alone prompted many to perform sacrifices and thus secure heaven. And lastly the Kali Yuga came with only a quarter of virtue remaining. In this age all kinds of evil prevail, famine and disease, sloth and anger. Even religious acts have a contrary effect.

Hanuman also explained the duties of the four castes, and added that the brahmin secures heaven by asceticism, the vaishya by gifts and hospitality, and the kshatriya by protecting men. As to the shudra, he was silent.

Bhima and Hanuman were both sons of the god, Vayu, and when they parted, they embraced one another over and over again.


Himalayas | Bhima and Hanuman | Gandharvas



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