Who Tried To Lift Hanuman’s Tail?

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A Tale of Strength, Humility, and Divine Grace

In the rich world of Hindu mythology, few figures inspire awe and devotion like Hanuman, the mighty monkey god. Renowned for his unwavering strength, unwavering loyalty, and boundless faith, Hanuman’s exploits are celebrated across India and beyond. One captivating yet seemingly simple story, often depicted in vibrant paintings and retold through generations, revolves around an attempt to lift Hanuman’s tail. This seemingly insignificant act, however, carries profound meanings about humility, divine power, and the nature of true strength.

The Encounter in the Forest

Our tale unfolds during the Pandavas’ exile in the Mahabharata. Bhima, the second Pandava brother, known for his immense physical prowess, embarks on a quest to find the mystical Saugandhika flower. Deep within the forest, he stumbles upon a frail, old monkey lying across his path. The monkey’s tail, impossibly long, stretches far and wide, blocking Bhima’s passage.

The Challenge and the Revelation

Bhima, brimming with pride in his strength, orders the monkey to move his tail. The feeble monkey, seemingly unfazed, calmly asks Bhima to lift the tail himself. Bhima scoffs, considering it a simple task. Yet, despite his best efforts, Bhima finds himself unable to budge the tail even an inch. He strains, pulls, and pushes with all his might, but the tail remains firmly rooted to the ground.

Confused and humbled by his failure, Bhima seeks the monkey’s identity. The monkey reveals himself to be none other than Hanuman, the mighty Vanara god, disguised as an old monkey to test Bhima’s humility and respect. The seemingly impossible task was not about physical strength but about recognizing and acknowledging divine power.

Significance of the Tale

This seemingly simple story holds deeper layers of meaning. It serves as a reminder that true strength lies not just in physical prowess but also in humility, respect, and recognition of the divine. Bhima, despite his immense physical strength, was humbled by Hanuman’s immense spiritual power. The tale highlights the importance of recognizing the limitations of human strength and acknowledging the power beyond our physical realm.

Further Interpretations

  • Overcoming Ego: Bhima’s initial arrogance and inability to lift the tail represent the ego that can blind us to the true nature of reality. Recognizing and letting go of ego is key to spiritual growth and understanding the divine.
  • Divine Grace: Hanuman’s act of revealing his true form can be interpreted as an act of divine grace, offering Bhima a glimpse into the power beyond the physical and the importance of humility.
  • Different Perspectives: Depending on the retelling, the monkey’s initial appearance can vary. Sometimes, he is depicted as a young child, further emphasizing the unexpected nature of divine presence and the importance of looking beyond appearances.


The tale of Bhima attempting to lift Hanuman’s tail transcends a mere test of physical strength. It serves as a timeless reminder of the importance of humility, respect, and recognizing the divine power that exists beyond our physical limitations. This story continues to inspire generations, reminding us that true strength lies not just in the muscles but also in the heart and spirit.


Q: Who tried to lift Hanuman’s tail?

A: Bhima, the second Pandava brother, is renowned for his physical strength. He is the one who tried to lift Hanuman’s tail.

Q: Why was Bhima unable to lift the tail?

A: Hanuman, in disguise, imbued the tail with divine power, making it impossible for Bhima’s physical strength to overcome it.

Q: What is the significance of this story?

A: This tale emphasizes the importance of humility, recognizing divine power, and overcoming ego in one’s spiritual journey.

Q: What are other interpretations of this story?

A: The tale can be interpreted from various perspectives, including overcoming ego, experiencing divine grace, and recognizing the unexpected nature of divine presence.

Q: Is the story just a myth?

A: While the story is part of Hindu mythology, its underlying themes of humility, strength, and recognizing the divine hold universal relevance and resonate across cultures and belief systems.

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