Arjun’s Bridge

Arjun’s Bridge

Once, before the Mahabharta War, Lord Krishna was walking along the bank of the River Yamuna with Arjuna. Arjuna was thinking, “I am the greatest archer on this earth. I can even build a bridge of arrows across this huge river.” Then he thought, “Even Lord Rama couldn’t build a bridge across the ocean, he had to seek help from the monkeys. I am even greater than Lord Rama.”

Krishna sensed what was going on in Arjuna’s mind and questioned him. Then he explained to Arjun that Lord Rama did not make a bridge of arrows, as it would not have been able to take the weight of the monkeys. But Arjun’s ego was too stuffed up. He said, “That means that Rama was not confident of building a bridge strong enough to take the weight of the monkeys.”

Krishna said, “As a matter of fact, one of the monkeys of Rama’s monkey army is still alive. If you build a bridge across the Yamuna, I shall ask him to walk across it for a test check.”

Soon, Arjuna’s bridge of arrows was complete. Krishna called out, “Hanuman!” In a trice, Hanuman appeared with folded hands and bowed to Lord Krishna. Then Krishna said, “Hanuman, would you test the strength of this bridge by walking across it?” Hanuman hesitated for a moment, but proceeded to obey. As soon as he put one foot on it… before he could put his other foot, the whole bridge came crashing down.

Krishna said, “Oh! Oh! Your bridge could not take the weight of one old monkey, how could it withstand the weight of the Vanara Sena (Monkey army)! Rama gave the task of building the bridge to Nal and Neel. They wrote the name ‘Rama’ on each stone before throwing it to float onto the ocean. It was the strength of the name of Rama that was able to hold the bridge afloat despite the massive weight of the army. The name of God is what made it possible.” Arjun’s pride came down with a bang.

Did you know why the ‘Kapi-Dhwaja’ i.e. the flag atop Arjun’s chariot in the war of Mahabharata had Hanuman’s picture on it? Well, now you do!