Right from a very young age Bhima had always been very proud of his physical prowess. So much so that his pride bordered on arrogance due to the fact that but for Duryodhana, nobody else in this world could pretty much match up to his physical strength.
One fine day when the Pandavas were in exile, Draupadi was enchanted by the sweet soulful fragrance of a flower. When she asked Bhima about the smell, he told her that it was of the Saugandhika flower. She immediately insisted that he get her some of these flowers so that she could adorn herself with them.
As he was walking in the forest searching for the source of these flowers, he thought he heard someone call out his name in a low tone. At first he dismissed it believing it to be a figment of his imagination. However, he heard it again. This time he was alone in the middle of an empty field, but was certain that he heard someone whispering his name.
Going closer to the source of the sound, he happened to be moving along a very narrow path on which only one person could walk at a time. He then suddenly noticed that his way was blocked by an old monkey which was sleeping right in the middle of the path.
Bhima then asked the monkey to move aside and make way for him. When the monkey did not even respond to him, he was enraged and ordered it to make way for him. To his order, the monkey replied “I am too old and weak to move. Push my tail aside and make way for yourself.”
By now Bhima did not even have the patience to argue with this monkey who was wasting his time. He bent down with the intention of pushing the monkey’s tail aside and continue on his quest of finding the flowers. But he could not move the monkey’s tail even an inch. Despite his best efforts, he could not even lift the tail, let alone move it aside. He then realized that this was no ordinary monkey and he then asked “You sir, are no ordinary monkey. Please tell me who you are.”
When Bhima asked this question, the monkey mysteriously smiled and then revealed his true form. He was none other than Hanuman, the elder son of Vayu and therefore a brother of Bhima who was also the son of the Wind God. “I am Hanuman, your brother. I have come to warn you that the path that you and your brothers have chosen is perilous and fraught with dangers.”
Hanuman then proceeded to show Bhima where the Saugandhika flowers would be found and then before bidding farewell embraced his brother. The purpose of this embrace was two-fold. While it increased Bhima’s already formidable strength and physical prowess, the second and more important purpose of the same was to help Bhima shed his ego so that his modesty and humility would add even more prowess to his already powerful personality.
This post has been written for Today’s Author Write Now Prompt for Nov 1, 2013 where the post had to include the phrase he was alone in the middle of an empty field, but was certain that he heard someone whispering his name which is the reason why this phrase has been specifically highlighted in the post.