Pleasure to narrate the tale of Hanuman who brought the ‘Sanjeevani’ herb
also called ‘Mritasanjeevi’ along with the ‘Oushadi Parvata’ (Mountain with herbs) to bring Lakshmana back to life in the battle with Ravana.
In the words of Goswami Tulsidas in his Hanuman Chaleesa, “Laaye Sanjeevan Lakhan Jiyaye”
The way in which this pandemic is putting people down, we surely need
Hanumanji’s grace to revive us as he revived the scores of the Vanaras who had succumbed in the war and Lakshmana, without whom Rama could not have ever completed his life’s mission.
It is very interesting to observe here that in Ramayana, the ‘Vayu Putra
Hanuman’ has been the ‘Prana’ of the epic, as he saved the lives of Sita Mata,
Lakshmana and Bharata!
When Hanuman found Sita Mata in the Ashok Vatika, contemplating suicide as she was steeped in agony having lost hope of finding Rama, Hanuman was there just in time and saved her life. Similarly, when Rama and Lakshmana fainted in the battlefield and once again when Lakshmana was wounded and lost consciousness, Hanuman brought the ‘Sanjeevani’ and saved them. Again, when there was delay in Rama reaching Nandigram and Bharata had already prepared to give up his life, there came Hanuman and saved his life.
Did you know that the ‘Oushadi Parvata’ with life-saving herbs was brought
by Hanuman not once but twice from the Himalayas? We shall see how that
When the mighty Kumbhakarna was killed by the Rama, Ravana was devastated. He could not believe the words of his messengers. He fainted and fell down filled with shock and pain.
When he woke up with teary eyes, Ravana’s another son Trishiras consoled
him. He offered to go and fight the army of Rama and sought permission. He was joined by the other sons of Ravana named Devantaka, Narantaka and Atikaya (who resembled Kumbhakarna). The young blood in them was itching to go and fight.
After all, they were all well-trained warriors and could not resist fighting if given a chance.
Ravana felt that they might win and therefore permitted them to go with his
blessings. They took a huge army and went to fight and as expected there was a dreadful encounter. However, Hanuman killed Trishiras. Devantaka and Narantaka were slain by Angada.
Atikaya who was over-confident went straight to Rama and said that he would fight only with someone ‘worthy enough’. Lakshmana was furious and challenged him and finally killed him.
Ravana was extremely worried at the turn of events. Due to grief and anxiety
he kept fainting and waking up again and again, his mind filled with confusion.
Indrajit heard of the happenings and came to Ravana.
“Don’t worry dear father!” he said. “There is no need to be dejected while I
am alive. No one has ever defeated me. I will go immediately and fight with the enemy and annihilate them.”
Saying thus, he immediately went and performed fire oblations as was his
practice each time he went out for battle. He then invoked the ‘Brahmastra’ to his possession, kept it in his chariot and worshipped the chariot along with the bows and arrows.
He then got on to his chariot and flew in the sky with the chariot, provoking
the Vanaras to fight him. The Vanaras fought valiantly but Indrajit rained
deadly arrows on them injuring almost everyone including Sugriva and Angada. Many Vanaras died.
Indrajit then proceeded to where Rama and Lakshmana were and hid himself in the sky and started raining arrows on them both.
Rama knew that Indrajit was using the ‘Astra’ given by Brahma and hence advised Lakshmana to bear the onslaught so that Indrajit would leave the place and damage to their army would be reduced. So, both the brothers submitted themselves to the weapons and fainted, fell down and lost their consciousness. As Rama had anticipated, Indrajit thought that they had been felled and he returned to the city shouting in glee.
The only persons who were not at all affected by Indrajit’s weapons were
Hanuman and Vibhishana. But they were so depressed at the turn of events. They went around the field searching for the warriors who had survived the weapons of Indrajit. That was when they found Jambavan injured and lying on the ground.
Jambavan was relieved to hear that Hanuman was unharmed and told Hanuman of the ‘Oushadi Parvata’ which was situated between the Kailasa peak and Rishaba hill on the Himalayas.
“You are the only one” said he, “who can go and get the herbs ‘Mritasanjeevi’ (to bring back to life), ‘Vishalyakarani’ (to heal the wounds), ‘Santanakarani’ (to heal fractures) and ‘Savarnyakarani’ (to restore the skin). These grow on the ‘Oushadi Parvata’. These herbs glow in the dark. Please go immediately and bring them”
Hanuman immediately assumed a gigantic form as he had done while coming to Lanka for the first time. Off he took to the skies, flying at the speed of the wind towards the northern direction. It was as if a massive mountain was flying. Soon he found the ‘Oushadi Parvata’ but could not identify the herbs. In a fit of anger, Hanuman uprooted the mountain in its entirety and carrying it in one hand, flew back to the battlefield in Lanka.
The moment he placed the mountain on the battlefield, the medicinal smell of all the herbs wafted across and all who had swooned and fell into a coma
including Rama and Lakshmana woke up as if, from a trance. All the traces of their wounds had also disappeared.
Interestingly the dead bodies of the Rakshasas had been thrown into the ocean under Ravana’s standing instructions and so no Rakshasa came to life. Hanuman lifted the mountain once again like a child’s play and went back and kept it in its place in the Himalayas and came back to Lanka.
This was the Mission I Sanjeevani.
Now for the Mission II Sanjeevani.
After this, it was the turn of Kumbhakarna’s valiant sons Kumbha and
Nikhumba to fight to death and meet Yama in the hands of Sugriva and Hanuman respectively. The morale of the Vanara army was boosted after the death of these brothers.
Now, Ravana had to send Indrajit again. Indrajit, after his usual fire
rituals decided to fool the army by deceit. He brought in his chariot the ‘Maya Sita’ (Exact Sita-like person created by Maya). He was accosted by Hanuman who believed that it was indeed Sita Mata and was deeply pained and shocked. As Hanuman charged to attack him, Indrajit, with a loud laugh slashed the chest of ‘Sita’ and killed her. Hanuman was shattered and walked away from the battle, feeling utterly miserable that the very reason for whom the battle was on, was killed.
Indrajit was happy to have diverted the attention of the enemy camp as he
had planned a secret ritual at a place called Nikhumbila, on the completion of which, he would become invincible. He proceeded with his followers to
Nikhumbila to start and finish the ritual as early as possible.
When Hanuman came and told Rama of ‘Sita’s’ demise Rama could not bear to hear it and swooned. The army along with Lakshmana who were also in great sorrow at Rama’s state were trying to revive Rama frantically.
It was then, that Vibhishana arrived and on hearing the account from
Hanuman, told them that it would have been a ‘Maya Sita’. He then told them about Indrajit’s ritual which had to be stopped before its completion and urged them to go to Nikhumbila failing which Indrajit would become invincible.
Rama who had now regained his consciousness sent Lakshmana and Hanuman along with the army. They went with Vibhishana to Nikhumbila and interrupted the ritual much to the ire of Indrajit and a fierce battle ensued between Lakshmana and Indrajit. Using the Aindra Astra, Lakshmana killed Indrajit. The whole of the Vanara army and Rama were thrilled at this achievement.
Benumbed with great shock at the death of his invincible son, Ravana swooned and fell. It was just too much for him to bear.
Slowly recovering from the jolt, he then sent some of the last few warriors to
attack Rama’s army. They were also extinguished in no time.
Finally, Ravana came with the last three warriors Mahaparshva, Mahodhara and Virupaksha and started battle with Rama. The three warriors were killed.
Ravana was greatly enraged to see his brother Vibhishana being protected by
Lakshmana and hurled a weapon by name Shakthi at Lakshmana. This weapon never missed its victim.
Before it hit Lakshmana, luckily Rama uttered “May the weapon fail in its vigour and leave Lakshmana unharmed”. Shakthi, though lost its strength, entered the chest of Lakshmana and pierced the ground. Lakshmana fell on the ground bleeding profusely.
Rama was wild with anger at Ravana. Although Lakshmana was wounded, Rama had to fight. Entrusting Lakshmana to Hanuman and Sugriva he fought with so much fury that Ravana decided to leave the field for the day.
Rama’s grief poured out, now that Ravana had left. Weeping profusely, he
declared that he had no desire to live nor rescue Sita without Lakshmana being alive.
Sushena, the physician, then examined Lakshmana and diagnosed that he was not dead. This was when Hanuman was again requested for the ‘Vishalyakarani’ leaves from the ‘Oushadi Parvata’.
“Hanuman” said Sushena. “You have to bring the Oushadi…”
The ever-ready Hanuman was air borne already. Within moments he reached the Himalayas and impatient as he was, lifted the whole mountain once again in one hand, and was back in Lanka within minutes. Hanuman had assumed such a huge form that the big mountain in his hand looked like a small block of soil.
The moment Hanuman landed and kept the mountain down, Sushena climbed the mountain and took the ‘Vishalyakarani’ leaves and administered the juice in the nostrils of Lakshmana. Lakshmana woke up as if from a trance. He was completely cured and was feeling more energetic than ever. All the other injured Vanaras also were rejuvenated.
Rama was overjoyed at Lakshmana’s revival. Ravana was slain subsequently and the mission of Rama accomplished.
This is how Hanuman saved the warriors by bringing the ‘Sanjeevani’ not once but twice!