Presentation on theme: "SUPPLEMENTARY READING Pre-reading task – Have you seen the serial ‘Mahabharat?” – Name the different characters. – What do you know about them? – Discuss."— Presentation transcript:
SUPPLEMENTARY READING Pre-reading task – Have you seen the serial ‘Mahabharat?” – Name the different characters. – What do you know about them? – Discuss them in your group – What do you know about Bhima? – What is he known for? Let us know read how Bhimasena was blessed by Hanuman. The story so far : The Pandavas lose the game of dice. Duryodhana sends them to live in forest for twelve years and one more year incognito. Arjuna goes to the Himalayas to get Pasupathastra from Lord Siva. The Pandavas, except Arjuna,are now in Kulinda the Kingdom of Subahu. Every one feels dejected in the absence of Arjuna......... Now, read on............. LESSON 1 - BHIMASENA THE BLESSED
The Pandavas reached Kulinda, the kingdom of Subahu, on the Himalayas. They accepted the honours rendered to them by that king and rested there awhile. Later on, they went to the charming forest of Narayanasrama and halted there. One day, a breeze that blew from the north-east wafted a beautiful flower near Draupadi. Draupadi took it in her hands and was so charmed with its fragrance and beauty that she showed it rapturously to Bhima. “Come and see this flower. What a sweet fragrance! How charming! I shall hand this over to Yudhishthira. Bring some flowers of this kind. We should grow this plant in our Kamyaka forest”. Draupadi ran to offer the flower to Yudhishthira Anxious to please his beloved Draupadi, Bhima went in quest of that plant. He went alone in the direction from which the fragrance seemed to be borne by the breeze, without wasting a thought on the wild beasts that crossed his path.
He presently came to a garden of plantain trees at the foot of a mountain, and there he saw a huge monkey shining like blazing fire, which lay right across his path blocking it. He tried to frighten the animal out of his way by shouting at it; it only half opened its eyes lazily and growled: “I am indisposed and so I am lying here. Why did you wake me up? You are a wise human being and I am a mere animal. It is only proper that the rational man should show mercy to animals as inferior creatures. I am afraid you are ignorant of right and wrong. Who are you? Whither are you bound? It is not possible to go further along this mountain path which is the path of the gods. Men cannot cross this limit. Eat what you like of the fruits of this place and if you are wise, go back in peace”. Bhima, unused to being taken so lightly, grew angry and shouted: “Who are you, yourself, you monkey, that indulges in such tall talk? I am a Kshatriya hero, a descendant of the Kuru race and a son of Kunti. Know that I am the son of the Wind god. Now move away from the path or stop me at your peril”! Hearing these words the monkey merely smiled and said:
“ I am, as you say, a monkey, but you will come to destruction if you try to force your way”. Bhima said: “I do not want your advice and it is no concern of yours if I go to destruction. Get up and move out of the way or I will make you.” The monkey replied: “I have no strength to stand up, being but a very old monkey. If you have to go at any cost, jump over me.” Bhima said: “Nothing could be easier but the scriptures forbid it. Otherwise I should jump over you and the mountain in one bound, like Hanuman crossing the ocean.” The monkey remarked as though in surprise: “O best of men, who is that Hanuman who crossed the ocean? If you know his story, enlighten me.”
Bhima roared and said: “Have you not heard of Hanuman, my elder brother, who crossed the ocean, a hundred yojanas in breadth, to seek and find Sita, the wife of Rama? I am equal to him in strength and heroism. Well, that is enough talk, now get up and make way and do not provoke me to do you harm.” The monkey answered: “O mighty hero, be patient. Be gentle as you are strong, and have mercy on the old and weak. I have no strength to rise up as I am decrepit with age. Since you have scruples in jumping over me, kindly move aside my tail and make a path for yourself.” Proud of his immense strength, Bhima thought of pulling the monkey out of the way by its tail. But, to his amazement he could not move it in the least, though he exerted all his strength. He set his jaws and strained every muscle till the very sinews cracked and he was covered with perspiration, but, still, could not move that tail the least, a little but up or down or sideways.
In shame, he bent down his head, and then asked in a chastened mood: “Who are you? Forgive me and reveal to me whether you are a siddha, god or gandharva”. Bhima like most strong men, was all respect when he saw one stronger than himself, and spoke like a pupil addressing his master..” Hanuman replied: “O mighty-armed Pandava, know that I am your brother, even that Hanuman, the son of the Wind god, whom you mentioned a little while ago. If you go on this path, which is the road to the spirit-world where the yakshas and the rakshasas abide, you will meet with danger and that is why I stopped you. No man can go beyond this and remain alive. But here is the stream with its depths where you can find the Saugandhika plant you came to seek.” Bhima was transported with delight: “I count myself the most fortunate of men in that I have been blessed to meet my brother I wish to see the form in which you crossed the ocean,” and he prostrated before Hanuman.
Hanuman smiled and began to increase the size of his body and stood four square to the world like a mountain, seeming to fill the landscape. Bhima was thrilled at it actually; seeing that divine form of this elder brother, the mere description to which had till then filled him with wonder. He covered his eyes, unable to bear the dazzling light radiating from that figure. Hanuman said: “Bhima, in the presence of my enemies, my body can grow still larger.” And Hanuman contracted his body, resuming his former size. He tenderly embraced Bhimasena. Bhagavan Vyasa says that Bhima felt completely refreshed and became much stronger than before by the embrace of Hanuman.
This is an extract from The Mahabharata One of the two greatest epics of India, the other being The Ramayana. The Mahabharata was composed by Vyasa five thousand years ago. Generations of gifted writers have added to the great poet’s original composition. Chakravarti Rajagopalachari, a statesman, an ardent freedom fighter and the conscience keeper of the Mahatma has rendered these two epics in narrative form into English, for both adults and children. Short Answer Questions: 1. Where did the Pandavas go from Kulinda? 2. How did Draupadi get to see the beautiful flower? What was her immediate response on seeing that flower? 3. Who was Bhima anxious to please? What risk did he take to please that person? 4. What was shining like blazing fire? 5. What reason did the monkey give for lying there? Do you think it was true?
6. What did Bhima say about himself to the monkey? 7. Why did Bheema refuse to jump over the monkey’s body? Was it a sign of his arrogance? If not, what else was it? 8. “Well, that is enough talk,’’ said Bhima. What was the talk about? 9. What efforts did Bhima make to pull the monkey out of his way? Did he succeed? 10. What was the blessing of Hanuman to his brother as they parted?
Answer the following in a paragraph or two each 1. Why did Bheema go in search of Soughandhika flower? 2. Describe briefly how the huge monkey responded to Bhima’s attempt at frightening it out of his path? Sum up the conversation that followed between the two? 3. Why did Bheema feel ashamed of himself? Why do you think Hanuman blocked his way? 4. What was the special request made by Bheema to Hanuman? Describe briefly how Hanuman appeared to Bhima when the request was met? 5. In what way did Bheema come to be better equipped to face the enemies as a result of his meeting with Hanuman?