Lord Rama along with his consort Seeta and brother Lakshmana went to the forest for fourteen years to keep up the promise his father had given to Kaikeyi. In the forest, Seeta was abducted by Ravana, the king of Lanka. Searching for her, they reached Kishkindha. With the help of Hanuman they were able to locate Seeta in Lanka. The huge vanara army under the leadership of Rama and Sugreeva were ready to proceed to Lanka. Rama assured the vanaras and their families that all the vanaras accompanying him would come back safely. They built a bridge across the ocean and crossed over to the other side. The battle between Rama and Ravana was about to start. The Lord told Sugreeva to take count of the vanaras who had accompanied him.
The great battle started. Finally, Lord Rama killed Ravana and his brother Kumbhakarna. Seeta joined her Lord. Before leaving, Rama asked Sugreeva, the Vanara king to take count of the vanaras. They found a few vanaras missing. Rama called Hanuman and asked him to accompany him in search of the vanaras. Both Rama and Hanuman walked to the battlefield and carefully started searching for the missing vanaras – dead or alive.
When Ravana’s brother, Kumbhakarna came to fight with Rama, he rode in a chariot which had a canopy decked with golden bells. Since Kumbhakarna had a huge personality, his chariot, its canopy and the bells were also proportionately huge. During the battle, an arrow from Rama’s side struck one of the huge bells and it fell down. A few of the vanaras got trapped in it. They called out for help but nobody heard them. It was totally dark inside. A tiny hole near the ring of the bell kept them from getting suffocated. An old monkey told them not to lose hope but instead chant the sacred name of Lord Rama. He whose mere name was capable of preventing stones from sinking would surely save them from the grip of death. All the monkeys closed their eyes and fervently started chanting, “Sri Rama…Sri Rama…..Sri Rama”.
As Rama, Hanuman and others were walking in the battlefield looking out for the vanaras, Rama noticed the huge bell and stopped in front of it. He glanced at the bell and then looked at Hanuman. Maruti immediately understood the Lord’s intention and quickly came forward. He put his tail into the ring of the huge bell and lifted it up as easily as lifting up a flower! Lo! There trapped under the bell were the missing vanaras! The vanaras suddenly saw light and opened their eyes. They saw the Lord of Compassion standing in front of them. Overwhelmed at the turn of events, they all rushed forward and prostrated at the lotus feet of Sri Rama, who had saved them as promised. The count now perfectly tallied!
Lord Rama looked around for his dear devotee. Hanuman was standing at a distance, an embodiment of humility, head bent down with folded hands and eyes rivetted to the Lord’s feet. And on his tail was the shining golden bell! Rama was so pleased that he proclaimed, “whosoever in future worships BHAKTA HANUMAN WITH THE BELL ON HIS TAIL, will be blessed with Devotion, Dispassion and the brilliant Light of Knowledge which alone is capable of destroying the darkness of ignorance and bestowing liberation upon the devotee; just as the vanaras were delivered from darkness of death into the blissful light of life”.
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