Hanuman had sat on the flag of Arjuna's chariot during the Kurukshetra war. But, what was it for?

There was not even a single instance in which Hanuman played any role.

  • From where did you got to know that Hanuman was on the flag of Arjuna chariot? Just asking for reference. – Triyugi Narayan Mani May 30 '16 at 13:04
  • @TriyugiNarayanMani: This is written in several versions I came across. – Indu Bhusan Nath May 30 '16 at 13:14
  • OK. I know one story where Arjuna chariot got burned at the last of the war. And there is slight mention of Hanuman. If you want then I can post that evidence. – Triyugi Narayan Mani May 30 '16 at 13:25
  • I will conclude, Hanuman came into picture when Bhima was very boasting, When Hanuman and Bhima confronted to each other, Hanuman just said if you have so much power just lift my tail but Bhima couldn't. So we can say Hanuman came to crush Bhima's vanity and show the path. – DesigningLives Jun 1 '16 at 14:54

Hanuman played a very minor role in the Kurukshetra war because Bhima softly declines Hanuman's offer for help.

O descendant of Bharata, with fraternal feeling ask from me a boon. If you desire that I shall go to Hastinapur and kill the insignificant sons of Dhritarashtra, I shall even do this (for your sake) or that I shall grind that city with Stone.

Or that I shall bind Duryodhana and bring him here. O greatly powerful hero, even this I shall do today.

Having heard the words of that high-souled one, Bhimasena with a delighted heart thus spoke to Hanuman.

“O foremost of monkeys, O mighty-armed hero, I consider all this already performed by you. Good come to you. I ask you to be pleased with me.

O mighty-armed hero, when you have become our protector, the Pandavas have (already) secured their lord. With your effulgence we shall conquer all our enemies.”

Having been thus addressed, Hanuman then spoke to Bhimasena, “From fraternal affection and friendship, I shall do you good.”

By rushing into the enemy’s force armed with numerous arrows and javelins when you shall give forth lion-like roars, O hero, O greatly powerful one,

I shall then with my own (shouts) add to your shouts. Remaining on Vijaya's (Arjuna) flag-staff, I shall send forth fearful shouts. Which will damp the courage of your enemies. You will then be able to destroy them with ease.

Having thus spoken to the son of Pandu, Hanuman first pointed out to him the way and disappeared.

[Mahābhārata - Vana Parva - Chapter 151]

  • Interesting, this is the fist scriptural confirmation I've seen that Hanuman is the monkey on Arjuna's flag. There is a story told in the Bengali Mahabharata of Arjuna and Krishna meeting Hanuman in Rameshwaram, as I discuss here: hinduism.stackexchange.com/a/2100/36 But I don't know of any scriptural basis for that story. Arjuna is repeatedly described in the Mahabharata as having a flag with a monkey on it, but strangely the monkey flag is already on the chariot when Varuna gives it to him in the Khandava forest story. – Keshav Srinivasan Jun 4 '16 at 14:15
  • As I discuss here the chariot originally belonged to Chandra: hinduism.stackexchange.com/q/3101/36 So I'm not sure if Chandra had a Hanuman flag for some reason, or if the monkey flag was originally unrelated to Hanuman but then Hanuman went into it or what. – Keshav Srinivasan Jun 4 '16 at 14:18
  • I just posted a question on Arjuna's monkey flag: hinduism.stackexchange.com/q/12520/36 – Keshav Srinivasan Jun 4 '16 at 17:04
  • Yes, I've noticed a lot of commentators automatically assume Hanuman to be the ape on the Arjuna's chariot flag for most of the time, but seems like Hanuman assumed the place on the flag at a later point only for the duration of the Kurukshetra war. I've also heard Drona makes a remarks the ape on the flag during the Virata encounter with Arjuna, but I don't think Arjuna was riding his own chariot at that point. – sv. Jun 5 '16 at 1:23
  • What remarks of Drona are you referring to? In any case Arjuna could easily have taken the flag with him when he went into exile. – Keshav Srinivasan Jun 9 '16 at 18:55

We are all familiar with His extremely important role in Ramayana. But only a few of us know that Lord Hanuman also appears in the epic Mahabharata, twice. It is a well-known fact that Lord Hanuman is one of the 'Chiranjeevis'. Chiranjeevis are the people who are supposed to be immortals. Hanuman, being one of the Chiranjeevis has been granted with the boon to live forever.

So, we find Lord Hanuman being mentioned in Mahabharata. Lord Hanuman is also considered the brother of Bhima as they have the same father, Vayu. Therefore the first mention of Lord Hanuman in Mahabharata comes when He meets Bhima during the Pandavas exile and the second time when Lord Hanuman protected the chariot of Arjuna throughout the battle of Kurukshetra by residing in Arjuna's flag read more here

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