Tag Archives: Arjuna

Arjuna and Hanuman

Arjuna, one of the five Pandavas was on a pilgrimage. He reached Rameswaram. After the darshan of Sri Ramanatheswara, he was curious to see the Rama Setu, the bridge that was built with rocks and trees by the vanaras. Looking at the bridge, he exclaimed loudly, “all the monkeys wasted their time and energy creating a bridge with rocks and trees. If I were there, I would have created a bridge of arrows within minutes”.

A small old monkey sitting over there heard him, and said that a bridge made of arrows would never have been able to withstand the strength of Sugreeva, Angada, and the whole army of mighty monkeys. Why all of them, it wouldn’t even withstand its own weight said the monkey. Arjuna took it as a challenge and said that he would create a bridge with arrows and the monkey can safely move and jump about on the bridge and it would not collapse. If the bridge collapsed, Arjuna vowed to burn himself alive. The monkey accepted the challenge.

Arjuna created a sturdy bridge with his arrrows. No sooner the monkey touched it with its tail, it collapsed. Arjuna was stunned, but made another attempt and created a more stronger bridge with arrows. Again it collapsed under the weight of the monkey. Defeated, Arjuna decided to enter into fire. Just then a young brahmana came along and seeing Arjuna making arrangements to enter into fire asked for the reason. They told him what had happened. The brahamana said that when anyone takes on a vow, there should be a witness. Now he will be the witness and the challenge should be taken up again in his presence. Arjuna agreed and made a very strong bridge with his arrrows. The monkey jumped on to the bridge. This time the bridge did not collapse!

Arjuna was surprised! The monkey too was surprised, and tried with all its might and strength again and again, but the bridge did not collapse. Finally the monkey assumed its own huge, full form: he was none other than Hanuman. Arjuna was surprised and felt guilty for having entered into a challenge with Sri Hanuman. The bridge did not break down even under the strength of Hanuman. Hanuman was surprised and when he looked under the bridge he found the brahmana who was none other than Lord Vishnu supporting the bridge on His shoulders. Both Arjuna and Hanuman prostrated to the Lord.

The Lord then told them that He alone was Rama and Krishna. Both Hanuman and Arjuna are dear to Him and this challenge was uncalled for. The Lord had come to stop Arjuna from entering into fire. Hanuman was very sad and upset that the Lord had shouldered the entire burden of the bridge along with his own weight. How could he make the Lord, who was his Master shoulder his weight. The Lord then consoled Hanuman saying that in Rama Avatar, he had carried Him (Rama) and Lakshmana on his shoulders and He was ever indebted to him. Carrying the weight of His devotee was the only way He could reciprocate His love for His devotee! Hanuman then promised Arjuna that during the kurukshetra war, when the Lord Himself will be driving his chariot, he would adorn his chariot flag-post and protect him from all danger and lead him to victory. 

[PS: I request all to please forward and share these value based stories rich in our culture and tradition to elders, youth and children]

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Yaksha Prashna – 2

[This post is in continuation of the post – Yaksha Prashna -1, where Lord Yama in the form of a yaksha asks questions to Yudhisthira (eldest among the Pandavas). In the 1st post 4 sets of questions & answers were posted. In this post, 7 sets of questions & answers have been posted. The next post on Yaksha Prashna will be on next wednesday. Link for Yaksha Prasna – 1: http://atomic-temporary-25401030.wpcomstaging.com/2020/06/03/yaksha-prashna-1/ ]


5] Yaksha Prashna (Jnana & Karma) : What is the essence of Samaveda? What is the essence of Yajurveda?  What is the basis of Yagna and without which Yagna is not possible?

Yudhisthira Answers: Prana (Life-force or Knowledge) is the essence of Samaveda. Mind, the Doer (Karma) is the essence of Yajurveda. Knowledge is the basis of Yagna (Karma Yoga) without which Yagna is not possible.


6] Yaksha Prashna (Agriculture, Dairy Farming & Family): What is most important for a farmer? What is the best asset of a farmer? What is the greatest wealth of those who seek prosperity? Which is of highest value to those who bring forth?

Yudhisthira Answers: Rain is the most important factor for the farmer. Seeds (for sowing) are the best asset for the farmer. Cattle is the greatest wealth for those seeking prosperity. Off-spring (children) is of the greatest value to those who bring forth.


7] Yaksha Prashna (Yagna-Spirit) : Who is that person who though endowed with wisdom, rich in experience, enjoying all the comforts of the world, worshipped by the intellectuals, respected by all living beings is as good as dead (lives in vain)?

Yudhisthira Answers: That person who is ungrateful and does not respect and serve the Gods (Deva), the guests (Athithi), fellow beings (Bhuta), the ancestors (Pitr) and neglects his own (Atma) spiritual evolution, though living is as good as dead.


8] Yaksha Prashna (Individual – Father, Mother, Mind & Thoughts) : What is heavier than earth? What is higher than sky? What moves faster than wind? What is more in abundance than grass?

Yudhisthira Answers: Mother is more heavier (most sacred & noble) than earth. Father is higher (best ideal) than the sky. Mind moves faster than the wind. Thoughts are more abundant than grass.


9] Yaksha Prashna (Nature) : What is that which sleeps without closing the eyes? What is it that does not move after birth? What is that which has no heart? What increases by its own effort?

Yudhisthira Answers: Fish does not close its eyes while asleep. The egg does not move after birth. The stone has no heart. The river swells by its own force.


10] Yaksha Prashna (Friend) : Who is the friend of one who is in exile? Who is the friend of a householder? Who is the friend of a sick person? Who is the friend of a dying one?

Yudhisthira Answers: To one in exile, he is his own friend. Wife is the friend of a householder. The physician is the friend of a sick person. Charity is the friend of a dying person.


11] Yaksha Prashna ( Individual) : Who is the guest (comes & goes) for all living beings? What constitutes the right way of life? What is Amrita (Elixir of life)? And what constitutes this entire universe?

Yudhisthira Answers: Agni (warmth or life) is the guest of all living beings. Yagna (Cooperative Endeavour or Karma Yoga) is the right way of life. Jnana (Milk of Knowledge) is the elixir of life. Life-force (Energy or Vibrations) constitutes the entire universe.

[PS: I request all to please forward and share these value based stories rich in our culture and tradition to elders, youth and children]

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Gitopadesha Scene – Its Significance

The GEETOPADESHA SCENE depicts a divine chariot drawn by five white horses, in the back-drop of the battlefield. The two parties facing each other are the Pandavas and the Kauravas. The chariot is driven by Lord Krishna in the driver’s seat. On the top of the chariot is the flag carrying the symbol of Hanuman. The reins of the horses are in the hands of the charioteer Sri Krishna. Behind Krishna is the master of the chariot, Arjuna. Arjuna has dropped his weapons and with folded hands seeking guidance from Sri Krishna. Krishna with the reins still in His hands is turned sideways, so that the horses as well as Arjuna are in His view. With a loving assurance of His support represented by the right hand in “abhaya” (fearless) mudra, Lord Krishna is smilingly advising His disciple Arjuna.

Vedantic Interpretation: The battlefield represents life’s battle. The Pandavas and the Kauravas represent the positive and the negative aspects of our personality. The chariot represents the human body. The five white horses are the five sense-organs of perception under self-control. The sense-organs are well-reined and held together by the intellect, represented by Sri Krishna. Arjuna represents the individual seeker’s mind which has totally surrendered all activities (represented by dropping the weapons) onto the Higher. Hanuman depicted in the flag represents the grace of the Guru on the spiritual student. The higher-intellect (Krishna) is advising the lower-mind (Arjuna) on the HIGHER WAYS of LIFE. Krishna turned sideways indicates an intellect which is able to contain both the sense-organs (horses) and Arjuna (mind).

The Geeta is a total and exhaustive summary of the philosophy of the Upanishads and though it reads as simple and elementary, in its import and deeper significances, the Divine Song exhausts the entire Knowledge – Swami Chinmayananda

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Yaksha Prashna – 1

The Pandavas were at the end of their 12 years of exile in the forest and had to spend 1 year in agyatavasa (living incognito). One fine day, as they were moving around in the forest and discussing the strategy of what they should do and how they should go about it, for the one year of incognito, Yudhisthira the eldest among the Pandavas suddenly became tired and thirsty. His brother Nakula went in search of water and found a beautiful lake. The lake was devoid of any living creatures except a crane. It was Lord Yama – God of Death who had come there as a crane to test the Pandavas. As Nakula went down to the lake to drink water, the crane warned him not to do so before answering his questions, else he would die. Nakula in his arrogance did not pay heed, drank water and immediately fell dead.

When Nakula did not come back even after a long time, Sahadeva went in search of Nakula, and without paying heed to the crane, he too drank the water without answering the questions and died. Bhima and Arjuna also met with the same fate. Since none of the brothers came back, Yudhisthira came in search of his brothers. He saw his brothers dead near the lake. Since he was very thirsty, he first thought of drinking water and then investigating into the cause of the death of his brothers. The crane again warned Yudhisthira and said that it was the guardian of the lake and unless the questuons put forth by it are answered, he has no permission to drink the water from the lake. If he does so, he too will die. Being the embodiment of Dharma, Yudhisthira decided to first answer the questions.

The crane then assumed the form of a Yaksha (Demi-God) and asked a number of questions:

1] Yaksha Prashna: (On Surya) – Who makes the Sun rise? Who gives him company? Who causes him to set and in whom is he established?  

Yudhisthira Answers:  Parabrahma is responsible for the Sun to rise. He is ever in the company of Gods (Nobility), Dharma (his duty) causes him to set and he is ever established in Truth.

2] Yaksha Prashna: ( On Jnana – Learning) : How does one become learned? How can something great be acquired and how can one gain wisdom?

Yudhisthira Answers: By reading the Srutis (Scriptures) one becomes learned. Anything great can be achieved only by severe tapas (austerity) and one can gain wisdom by serving the old and the wise.

3] Yaksha Prashna (On Brahmanas): What are the characteristic of Brahmanas? What  is
their supreme Dharma? What signifies their limitation? What is impious practice in them?

Yudhisthira Answers: Self-study of Scriptures is their fundamental characteristic. Asceticism (Tapas) is their supreme Dharma. Identification with finitude signifies their limitation.  Slander is their impiety.

4] Yaksha Prashna (On Kshatriyas):  What are the characteristic of Kshatriyas? What  is
their supreme Dharma? What signifies their weakness? What constitutes their Adharma?

Yudhisthira Answers: Art of warfare is their fundamental characteristic. Sacrifice (on their part) is their supreme dharma. Fear signifies their weakness.  Abandonment of duty to provide protection is their Adharma.

[In today’s post , questions on 4 topics and answers are posted. These questions were asked by none other than Lord Yama – Lord of Dharma – to Yudhisthira]

Men of Wisdom are men of conviction and they always openly declare the Truth alone, loudly, heroically, courageously. They cannot, and will not mince matters or polish truth for the ready acceptance of the people of their era. Not caring whether it would please the taste of the public, they would openly declare their views; this is the nature of all wise men. - Swami Chinmayananda

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