It is hard to find a mythical character who is at once so powerful, learned,
philosophic, humble and amusing! Hanuman features prominently in the great
and the Mahabharata
Hanuman Meets Rama
Hanuman met Rama
and his brother Lakshmana while Rama was in exile in the jungle,
and searching for his wife Sita who was abducted by Ravana. Their quest brought
them near Pampa Lake at the foot of Mount Risyamukha, where the monkey king
Sugriva and his ministers were hiding. Sugriva, who was being persecuted by
his brother Bali, suspected that Rama and Lakshmana might have been sent by
Bali to slay him. To find out the facts, Hanuman approached them in the guise
of a Brahmin.
In Service of Rama
Hanuman's initial words highly impressed Rama, and made him comment: "None
can talk this way without mastering the Vedas. He has such a flawless countenance,
a wonderful accent, and a captivating way of speaking. He has the ability to
move even an enemy..." After he revealed his identity as the prince of
Ayodhya, Hanuman fell prostrate before him in respect of the Lord. Rama picked
him up and embraced him. There began the story of Hanuman, which is inextricably
interwoven with Rama, and dealt with in detail in Valmiki's Ramayana
the Tulsidas' Ramacharitamanas
Read More About the Ramayana
To cut the long story of Hanuman short, he then introduced Rama to Sugriva,
and began his massive search for Sita. Finding out her whereabouts, he consoled
Sita, and burnt down the city of Lanka. Hanuman then brought Rama to Lanka,
fought the battle against Ravana with his simian army, and vanquished the demons.
Hanuman's greatest feat was saving the life of Lakshmana by fetching the life-giving
herb "Sanjivani" from the Himalayas. He flew fast towards the Himalayas,
but unable to recognise the right herb, picked up the whole mountain on his
hand and flew back to Lanka, just in time to save Lakshmana. Thereafter Hanuman
served Rama forever.
Hanuman and the Pandavas
The venerable ape also features in the great epic Mahabharata
. How Hanuman
met the valiant Bhima, one of the Pandava brothers is itself a marvelous tale.
He recognized Bhima as his spiritual brother, since both were born with the
blessings of Pavana, the Wind God, and promised to aid the Pandavas in the big
battle of Kurukshetra. Hanuman positioned himself in the flag of Arjuna's chariot
to secure and stabilize the war-craft. The triangular saffron flag of Hanuman
stands for stability and equilibrium, sense-control and mind-control, and a
sure sign of victory over all that is base and evil.