After Yudhishtar had lost the game of dice, the five Pandavas and their wife Draupadi were exiled from their kingdom for twelve years by the Kauravas. Krishna understood that the Kauravas would never give the Pandavas their kingdom and that a war was coming….
Krishna asked Arjuna to go to Kailash and worship Lord Shiva and get divine weapons from him. Arjuna agreed and left for Kailash. The other four brothers along with Draupadi traveled from one forest to another during the time of their exile.
They once came to the forest of Narayanashram…It was the most beautiful forest and the majestic Ganga flowing across the forest brightened the moods of the Pandavas considerably.
Bheema, the second Pandava, was the son of the Vayu, the Wind God. Bheema was exceptionally strong and powerful and he was proud of his strength. Bheema loved Draupadi very much and during the period of exile he tried to satisfy every single whim and wish she had….
Draupadi also loved the forest of Narayashram. She would daily go the Ganga and offer her prayers to Surya, the Sun God. Feeling at peace she would come back to her hut in the forest…
Once after Draupadi finished her praying, she was about to go home, when a delightful aroma spread through the forest. As a gentle breeze was blowing towards her, Draupadi saw a flower drop before her. The aroma was so enchanting that Draupadi actually felt giddy for a few seconds. Slowly pulling herself together, she picked up the beautiful flower in her hands. It was soft and the flower was shining beautifully in a slight golden colour. Mesmerised she carried the flower back her home.
She showed the flower to Bheema, ‘Bheema! Bheema! Look at this…’ She said handing over the flower to Bheema. The entire hut was lit up by the shine of the flower and the aroma from the flower surrounded the ashrama…Bheema looked wonderingly at the flower, ‘What is it?’ Draupadi shook her head mutely not able to talk. ‘I was coming back home, when the wind was blowing from the north-eastern direction and the flower fell near me…Isn’t it beautiful?’ She whispered looking at the flower in awe.
Bheema laughed looking at the child-like face of Draupadi, ‘If you like them so much I will get you some more flowers like this…’
Draupadi looked at Bheema eagerly, ‘Can you get them…That would be great!’
Bheema looked at Draupadi in the eye, ‘I will be back with plenty more such flowers for you my dear!’ And off he went…A mace in his hand, Bheema started off towards the north-eastern direction. He walked and walked and walked, along the Ganga…
As Bheema was walking, he saw a beautiful garden before him. The word ‘Beautiful’ hardly did justice to the garden…It was enchanting. As Bheema neared the garden, a slight breeze picked up and Bheema could smell the flowers though he was very far away. The fragrance of one flower was strong…A hundred of them together felt like heaven to Bheema…..
Happily Bheema realized that this was the garden where the flowers which he was searching for grew….He would now go and pluck as many as he wanted and take them back to Draupadi. She would be so thrilled on seeing them…
Bheema was about to walk when he saw a tough rope on the ground…Puzzled he looked on both sides and on his right saw an old…very old monkey….The monkey was resting under the shade of the tree….It was the monkey’s tail which he had first thought was a rope…Shaking his head and muttering to himself, Bheema went to the monkey. ‘Hey! Shoo!’ He said waving his hands at the monkey.
The monkey was sleeping with his eyes closed and did not seem to hear him. Bheema yelled, ‘ SHOO!’ The monkey opened his eyes and looked at Bheema and spoke, ‘Are you talking to
Bheema huffed up angrily, ‘YOU ARE BLOCKING MY PATH!’ Bheema thought that the monkey was old and deaf and yelled on top of his voice. The monkey said softly, ‘I can’t hear you! Can’t you speak in a lesser tone, so that I can understand!’
Bheema muttered to himself angrily and said, ‘Get out of my way!’
The monkey looked at Bheema, ‘I was not in your way! What are you talking about?’
Bheema impatiently pointed at the monkey’s tail, ‘Get your tail out of my way!’
The old monkey looked at the tail and nodded to himself, ‘Oh! Ok. Before I do that, tell me who you are? What are you doing here, young man?’ The old monkey asked pointing around him, ‘This is a dangerous place for humans…’
Bheema laughed aloud, ‘You old monkey! What can possibly be dangerous for me? Do you even know who I am? I am, Bheema, the Pandava! I am the son of the Wind God and I am powerful enough to squash you like a bug!’ Bheema said arrogantly.
‘Son of Vayu?’ The monkey said looking slightly impressed. Bheema thought that the monkey had ignored everything else he had said…
‘I am Vayuputra!’ Bheema said proudly, ‘And that makes me the younger brother of Hanuman, the greatest Vanara in the world, you silly monkey! Hanuman is someone who is above all of you!’