During the exile when the five Pandavas and their wife Draupadi lived in Jungles, Draupadi looked after their comforts and they all lived a content life. One day afternoon while everyone was lazing around after lunch, a gentle smell tickled her senses with the breeze. Draupadi was so mesmerized by it that she wanted the scented flower in her possession. She asked Bhima to get it for her.
Bhima left in search of those flowers. He went through the thick forest making his own way. Finally, he came across a patch where he could see many flowers growing.
He was about to enter the flower patch when he saw a huge white monkey lazing in his way. He scolded the monkey to get up and make a way for him. In his pride of strength, he exclaimed, “I am Bhima the strongest warrior and a fine user of the mace. So, get up from my way or be ready to fight”
The monkey slowly opened its pale eyes and scanned Bhima. It slowly replied: “I don’t consider you as a mighty warrior. Where was all this might and bravery when your cousins insulted your wife and tried to disrobe her?”
This speech agitated Bhima even more. He said: “Old monkey. I walk a straight path and I kill all those who lie in it. I do not want to kill you because you are an old and people will mock me for killing an old monkey. Please just get away from my way and let me go on.”
The monkey then said: “Ok then, I am too old and weak. Why don’t you just move my tail and go on?” To this, Bhima reluctantly agreed.
Confidently with full pride, he tried lifting the tail, but it seemed too heavy. Then he tried with all his might, but it didn’t move an inch. He tried lifting it with his mace, but the mace broke under the pressure. All the time the monkey just kept smiling.
Finally, Bhima profusely sweating accepted defeat. He said: “You are no ordinary monkey. Who are you and how can I help you?”
Then the monkey changed into Hanuman the monkey faced lord who helped lord Rama conquer Lanka. He said: “I just wanted to meet you. It was time to destroy a bit of that arrogance of yours. Remember the other day you were boasting of your strength while having lunch in presence of Krishna? That is how I am here, because he sent me to help you get rid of your pride.”
Bhima felt guilty and enlightened, he touched Lord Hanumana’s feet and took his blessings.
Lord Hanumana said to him, “Pride comes before the fall dear Bhima and you cannot afford fall in the war to come. Beware of your strength and work on your weakness. Do not underestimate the strength of the opponent, plan strategically for your moves.”
Bhima obliged by the lessons and blessings from Lord Hanumana-the Lord of strength himself left the place. He collected the flowers for Draupadi and returned back to their hut as fresh like a flower.
For more such stories on Krishna, Mahabharata, Bhagwad Gita and Indian mythology, connect with me at firstname.lastname@example.org.