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7-Hanumaan in War

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7-Hanumaan in the Battlefield

Hanumaan fought with a great bravery in Raam-Raavan war. He killed several powerful Raakshas, but his main activities are given below.

Hanumaan Saves Life of Lakshman

On second day when Meghnaad came into battlefield to fight and he could not harm Raam, he used Veerghaatinee Shakti (power) on Lakshman. Lakshman got fainted. Meghnaad got very happy to see this and he went near him and tried to lift him up to take him to Lankaa as the mark of his victory, but he couldn't even move him. Then Hanumaan Jee came and lifted him up like a flower and took him to Raam. Meghnaad got very ashamed of this and went away.

Seeing Lakshman unconscious Raam got very sad and started crying. Then Jaambvaan suggested that there was a herbalist named Sushen in Lankaa, he could cure Him. But how to bring him there in enemy's army from enemy's city? Then Hanumaan took his responsibility. He went there in a very tiny form, lifted sleeping Sushen along with his house and brought him in Raam's camp. Sushen asked to bring some herb (Sanjeevanee herb) from a mountain within that night and told this also that if that herb did not come before sunrise, Lakshman will not be able to live. Now who could go so far and come back with those herbs within the night? Again Hanumaan offered himself to bring those herbs. He asked him - "I do not know anything about herbs, how I will recognize it?" Sushen said - "It glows in the dark."

Meeting Kaalnemi Raakshas

He flew to bring the herb. In the meantime a spy informed Raavan about this. Raavan immediately sent one Kaalnemi named Raakshas to stop him bringing those herbs. Kaalnemi said to Raavan - "Who has burned your whole Lankaa, who can stop him from doing Raam's work? Meditate upon He who controls Kaal. Who can win Him?" But Raavan didn't like his advice. So Kaalnemi thought it was better to die from Raam's messenger's hand instead of this Raakshas.

So he went and built a beautiful Maayaa Aashram and a pond in it, and he himself stayed there in the form of a Muni. Flying over that Aashram Hanumaan saw it, so he thought, "let me drink some cool water here and take rest then I will proceed further", so he got down and went to Muni and asked some water. Muni gave him some water from his Kamandal, but Hanumaan was not satisfied with such a small amount of water, so Kaalnemi pointed towards the pond for more water.

Hanumaan entered the pond, that a she-crocodile caught his feet. Hanumaan killed her. She changed into an Apsaraa. She said - "My all sins are washed away today after having your Darshan and my Shaap is also cleared. Listen, This is not a Muni but is a Raakshas, believe me." and went away. Hanumaan came back and killed that Raakshas and headed towards his destination.

I read this version in a Group mail. It is neither in Tulasee's Maanas, nor in Vaalmeeki Raaamaayan.
Raavan, upon learning that Kaalnemi has been slain by Hanumaan, summoned Soorya to rise before its appointed time because the physician Sushen had said that Lakshman would perish if  not treated by daybreak. Hanumaan realized the danger, however, and becoming many times of his normal size, detains the Sun God to prevent the break of day.  He then resumed his search for the precious herb, but, when he found himself unable to identify the herb, he lifted the entire mountain and delivered it to Sushen. Sushena then identified the herb and administered it on Lakshman, and that is how Lakshman was saved. Raam embraced Hanumaan, declaring him as dear to Him as His own brother. Hanumaan released Soorya from his grip, and asked his forgiveness, as the Sun was also his Guru.

Hanumaan Brings the Herb

When he reached on the mountain, he couldn't recognize the herb because it stopped glowing (in another version many other herbs also started glowing, so Hanumaan got confused). So he uprooted the whole Parvat, on which that herb was growing, and brought it to Sushen.

According to another version, when Raavan heard that Hanumaan had gone to bring Sanjeevanee herb from Drone Parvat to treat Lakshman, he made other herbs also glowing. That is why when Hanumaan looked for the herb, he found many kinds of herbs glowing there. He could not identify the exact herb which he was supposed to bring, so he uprooted the whole Parvat on which all those herbs were glowing and brought it.

When he was coming back, he flew over Ayodhyaa. Bharat saw a very large object flying. He thought, "He might be a Raakshas and may be carrying this to attack Ayodhyaa." So he shot an arrow engraved with Raam's name on it at Hanumaan. Hanumaan did not stop it as it had Raam's name on it. It hit his leg and injured it. (since then he came to be known as Langadaa Veer - lame warrior). He fell down on the ground. While he fell, he pronounced "Raam, Raam" and got unconscious. Now Bharat knew that he was not a Raakshas but a devotee of Raam. He got very sorry that he killed a devotee of Raam. He went close to him and found that he was not dead, but only unconscious. He immediately remembered Raam and prayed Him for his coming back to senses. Hanumaan soon got his consciousness back. Bharat asked his introduction.

Hanumaan told him everything including that Lakshman was unconscious and if he did not reach there in time, he might not live. Bharat got very sad hearing all this. He said - "I am such an unfortunate that I am of no use to my brothers. But you don't worry, I will send you there in a moment. You sit on my arrow, it will take you there in a moment." Hanumaan couldn't believe this, so he said - "Do not worry, I will go myself." But Bharat said - "Believe me, my arrow will take you there very soon." Still Hanumaan preferred to go on his own. [According to another version, Bharat did send Hanumaan on his arrow]

Hanumaan arrived there in time. Sushen prepared the medicine, gave it to Lakshman and soon Lakshman gained his consciousness. Everybody got very happy to see him alive again. Hanumaan dropped Sushen along with his house in Lankaa Puree.

Hanumaan Saves Raam and Lakshman from Ahiraavan, and
Gets His Name as Panchmukhaa

This story is narrated neither in Maanas, nor in Raamaayan, but it is told to children. It is mentioned in Hanumaan Aaratee: "Paithi Pataal Tori Jam Kaarey, Ahiraavan Kee Bhujaa Ukhaarey". And it is mentioned in Hanumaanaashtak also:

"Bandhu Samet Jabai Ahiraavan Laay Raghunaath Pataal Sidhaaro;
Devahin Pooji Bhalee Vidhi San Bali Deu Sabahi Mili Mantra Uchaaro;
Jaay Sahaaya Tabahee Ahiraavan Sainya Samet sanhaaro
Ko Nahin Jaanat Hai Jag Mein Kapi Sankat Mochan Naam Tihaaro."

So I write this story just for information. Any addition, subtraction or comments about it are welcomed?

Ahiraavan or Mahiraavan was Raavan's younger brother. He used to live in Paataal Lok. When Raavan had lost many of his brave people, he approached his brother and help him. Ahiraavan also tried to explain him that he should not develop enmity with the Lord of Tri-Lok, but Raavan had no time for his advice. In the night, Hanumaan used to surround sleeping Raam Lakshman with his tail for their safety. In that night also he did so, so when Ahiraavan arrived in Raam's camp, he assumed Vibheeshan's guise and lifted sleeping Raam and Lakshman from their camp and brought them to Paataal Lok. Many Vaanar saw him wandering in their camp but they took him as Vibheeshan and did not notice anything wrong in it. In Paataal Lok, he started doing Yagya in which he wanted to offer their sacrifice. When Vaanar came to know about the absence of Raam and Lakshman, they got worried. Then Vibheeshan expressed his doubts on Ahiraavan. Now who should go there and bring Raam and Lakshman back safely?

Hanumaan Meets His Son

Again Hanumaan went there in the form of an insect hiding in flowers which were taken for Ahiraavan's worship by one of his maids. After reaching there Hanumaan changed himself to a huge size. But as he reached there, he faced another creature - Vaanar in upper side of the body and fish in the lower side of body (like a mermaid). He got surprised to see this creature more like himself, so he asked his introduction. He said - "My name is Makaradhwaj and I am the son of Hanumaan."

Since Hanumaan was never married, he could not think of his son, so he told him that he was Hanumaan and asked him how he was his son? Makaradhwaj said - "When my father Hanumaan had burnt Lankaa, he jumped into the sea to get cool. At that time a drop of his sweat fell in the sea. A she crocodile swallowed that drop and gave birth to me. Being born from that she crocodile, my name is Makaradhwaj. First you have to defeat me then only you can go in." Hanumaan fought with his son. He told him that Ahiraavan wanted to kill Raam and Lakshman and he had come there to save them. After defeating him, Hanumaan entered the kingdom of Ahiraavan. There he came to know that he could not kill Ahiraavan until he put out the five lamps burning in five directions simultaneously. How he could do it? So he assumed five faces (Panchmukhaa) on five sides - Varaah face facing North, Narasinh face facing South, Garud face facing West, his own face facing the East, and Hayagreev face facing the sky, and blows out all the lamps together. According to Hanumat Prakaran in Shree Vidyaarnav Tantram, Aanjaneya had five faces (Panch Mukh) and ten weapons. Hanuman then rescued Raam and Lakshman from Ahiraavan.

After this Makaradhwaj joined his father and both killed Ahiraavan. Hanumaan Jee brought unconscious Raam and Lakshman back to camp on his shoulders. Later he introduced his son to Raam and Makaradhwaj also became Bhakt of Raam. Later, Raam asked Hanuman to crown Makaradhwaj as the King of Paataal Puree.

Read About Panchmukhaa Here

Hanumaan Saves Raam and Lakshman from Naag Paash

This is another version of Maanas, version of that incident in which Naarad Jee sent Garud to help Raam, (see Raam). In this version Naarad Jee doesn't send Garud Jee, but Hanumaan goes to bring him for this purpose and it is given in Raamaayan only (not in Maanas).

Once Meghnaad used Naag Paash on Raam and Lakshman. They both got tied and got unconscious. Naag (serpents) started biting them slowly and their poison started spreading in their body bit by bit. If nothing was done soon the poison would have spread in the whole body, and nobody could save them. All Vaanar were just standing around them sad and watching them dying slowly. Nobody could do anything. After some time Hanumaan was looked for to help them, but he was nowhere to be found and seen. Now Vaanar were more worried as they trusted Hanumaan very much.

In fact Hanumaan had already approached Garud Jee to request him to help Raam in His difficult times. Garud Jee readily agreed and came there where Raam and Lakshman were lying. As soon as serpents saw Garud Jee, they ran away leaving Raam and Lakshman and thus Raam and Lakshman's lives were saved. Everybody admired Hanumaan's presence of mind.

Why Hanumaan Could Not Kill Raavan?

This is an interesting Shlok in Raamaayan where the great Hanuman is disappointed by his own valor or lack of it. The story goes like this. In a concerted bid to release Seetaa from the captivity of Raavan, Raam with his army of monkeys, with the likes of Hanuman, Sugriva and Angade in the vanguard, reached the outskirts of Lankaa for a war. Seeing the advancing troops of monkeys, Prahast, the commander-in-chief of the Lankan army tried to engage Raam and his troops in an encounter but was killed along with his army. Hearing this bad news, Raavan himself came out for a battle which he was confident of winning without much resistance. But Raavan's experience proved otherwise. He was stiffly opposed by the valiant monkeys like Sugreev a etc, and he could somehow vanquish them temporarily. Raavan was accosted by Hanumaan. Hanumaan challenged Raavan that he would dispatch Raavan to the abode of death god with a single punch of his right fist. Raavan ridiculed him, but Hanumaan actually hit Raavan on his chest with his fist and the winner of the whole world that Raavan was, shook like a mountain when an earthquake comes.

Seeing this valor of Hanuman, even the celestial beings and sages praised him. Raavan also acknowledged Hanumaan's valor saying that he was a real match for him. But Hanumaan was thoroughly displeased with his own performance. He says, "O, Raavan! Cursed to my that strength since you do still survive!" [Valmiki Ramaayan, 6/59/66]

It is not that Hanumaan could not kill Raavan, but he knowingly did not kill him. To understand why Hanumaan did not kill Raavan, we have to look into the issue in greater depth. Raam's Avataar and Dharm was to kill Raavan and it was ordained by fate, and both Raam and Hanumaan were the incarnations of Vishnu and Shiv respectively and they had to abide by the law made by themselves, the Supreme law-makers, so when Raam was ordained to kill Raavan, how Hanumaan could kill him? Moreover, Raavan himself was a great devotee of Shiv, and is ranked as the second of the greatest devotees of Shambhoo after Baanaasur, that is why Shambhoo could not have killed him. Shambhoo left Raavan to be killed by his own misdeeds - culminating in the abduction of Seetaa, and his chosen killer was Raam. This was only the humor of the poet in the epic at this place.


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Created and Maintained by Sushma Gupta
Created on 07/27/2011 and Updated on 03/22/2013