Bheema Gets The Saugandhika Flowers

- April 29, 2022

By Srinidhi Murthy

During the Pandavas’ stay in the forest, Draupadi chanced upon the beautiful Saugandhika flowers. The story of how Bheema got the flowers is a fascinating tale from the Mahabharata

Draupadi’s Wish
Script: Mihir Lal Mitra; Illustration: Dilip Kadam

During his twelve-year exile with his brothers and wife, Arjuna went away to perform penance to obtain celestial weapons from Indra and Lord Shiva. During this period, the four other Pandavas, along with Draupadi and Sage Lomasha decided to visit various places of pilgrimage. On their journey, they once reached the hermitage of Nara and Narayana. The inhabitants of the hermitage received them with due honour and the Pandavas spent some time in the hermitage in the hopes of seeing Arjuna there. One fine day, while walking in the forest with Bheema, Draupadi noticed an exquisite flower, which pleased her immensely. She asked Bheema to get more such flowers for her, as she wished to make a present with these flowers for Yudhishthira. Immediately, Bheema set out in search of the flowers with his bow, arrows, and mace. 

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The Meeting
Script: Mihir Lal Mitra; Illustration: Dilip Kadam

Bheema entered the Gandhamadana forest, which was full of beautiful trees, birds, animals, and streams. Due to the arrival of the mighty Pandava, all the animals and birds of the forest fled in fear. Soon, Bheema himself was brought to a halt, when he noticed that a monkey with a long tail was lying on the ground, blocking his way. Annoyed, Bheema roared loudly into the ears of the monkey. The monkey lazily turned around to face Bheema and in a low voice, asked Bheema about his identity. Bheema replied that he was the son of Pandu and Kunti and was born by the grace of Vayu, the Wind God. The monkey then told Bheema that he was too old and weak to move his own tail. He asked Bheema to move his tail to free his path. Bheema tried to lift the tail, but it would not budge. Growing frustrated, Bheema used all of his immense strength to move the monkey, but to no avail. He then realised that this was no ordinary monkey. Humbled, he accepted his defeat and asked the monkey to reveal his true identity. 

Kubera’s Garden
Script: Mihir Lal Mitra; Illustration: Dilip Kadam

The monkey revealed himself to be Hanuman. He embraced Bheema as his brother, as both of them were born by the grace of Vayu. Bheema realised that his fatigue had disappeared. With Hanuman’s blessings, Bheema was confident of conquering his enemies. Before their farewell, Hanuman instructed Bheema to go to the gardens of Kubera in the Saugandhika forest, where he could find the rare flowers Draupadi wanted. After a tearful parting, Bheema went ahead with his journey. He soon reached the lake in the Saugandhika forest. He saw the beautiful flowers growing in the lake and started collecting them, wanting to go back home as soon as possible. 

The Triumph 
Script: Mihir Lal Mitra; Illustration: Dilip Kadam

Feeling thirsty, Bheema bent down to drink water from the lake. In a flash, hundreds of rakshasas approached him. The rakshasas were the guards of the garden and they prohibited him from drinking water from the lake. They instructed him that nobody could take away the flowers without permission from Kubera.  After a heated exchange of words, a fight ensued between them, and Bheema killed several rakshasas. Others fled and informed Kubera about the fight. To their astonishment, Kubera asked them to return to their posts and allowed Bheema to take the flowers. Bheema returned with the rare celestial flowers and gifted them to Draupadi, who was overjoyed.

Read the story of the Pandavas in our title The Pandava Princes, now available on the ACK Comics App, Kindle, Amazon, and other major e-tailers. 

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