Lord Hanuman is undoubtedly one of the great heroes of the divine epic of Ramayana, in which he helps Prabhu Hanuman free Seeta Mata from the clutches of Ravana.
Lord Hanuman was granted by Prabhu Ram to be Chiranjeevi or immortal, and Bajrang Bali told Lord Ram that be assured, while people in the world chant your name, prana shall not leave my body.
But some of us might not be aware that Lord Hanuman appears in the epic of Mahabharata as well!
Once, Draupadi asked Bhima to get Saugandhika flowers for her. Bheema was only too happy to do the task! He set out in search of the flowers, but on the way, he found a very old monkey resting.
He humbly requested the monkey to make way for him, but the monkey said that he is too old and is unable to move. The monkey told Bhima to kindly move his tail aside, as this would make way for Bhima, and he would go on and find the flowers.
Initially, Bhima tried moving the monkey’s tail aside with his mace, but upon being unable to succeed, he tried moving the monkey’s tail aside with all his might and ended up in perspiration.
It was then that Bhima said ‘Your strength is greater than mine and you are no ordinary being. Please tell me who you are?’
The monkey said, ‘I am the Hanuman, your brother that you speak so highly of.’ Bhima and Hanuman are both sons of Lord Vayu.
Prabhu Bajrang Bali told Bhima that he had come to caution him- the path ahead is dangerous. And Bhima had met Hanuman, such that Lord Hanuman would help him overcome his ego and grant him the strength to fight his enemies.
Another incident from the Mahabharata relating to Lord Hanuman is when Prabhu Hanuman interacts with Arjuna. Lord Hanuman met Arjuna at Rameshwaram, disguised as a normal Vanara.
Arjuna saw the bridge built to Lanka, and expressed his wonder by saying that why did Lord Ram need the help of Vanaras to build the bridge? He would have built the bridge with his arrows.
The Vanara replied, ‘Such a bridge would not take the weight of even a single person’. Arjuna said, if this stands true, he would jump in fire. Arjuna then made the bridge with his arrows, but the bridge collapsed when Lord Hanuman stepped on it.
Arjuna was about to jump into fire when Lord Krishna appeared and recreated the bridge with his magical touch. The bridge would not break even as Lord Hanuman tried hard.
It was then Lord Hanuman appeared in his original form, and agreed to be the flag on Arjuna’s chariot, to protect the chariot in the war, and be there till the war ends.