1. Shriram blessing Hanuman with a boon
Pleased with the supreme devotion of Hanuman, Prabhu Shriram told Him to ask for a boon. Hanuman requested that, “If any devotee constantly reminisces Prabhu Shriram’s Name, he will be protected by Hanuman and no one will be able to harm him”. Prabhu Shriram immediately granted His wish.
2. Maharshi Vishwamitra and
Soubhadra, King of Kashi, who had started off to
meet Prabhu Shriram, meet each other in Deity Shiva’s temple
In Tretayug, when Prabhu Shriram was ruling in Ayodhya, Soubhadra, King of Kashi, had a desire to meet Him. At the same time the same desire aroused in Maharshi Vishwamitra’s mind. Both started off in the direction of Ayodhya and met each other in a temple of Deity Shiva. The disciples of Vishwamitra were hailing the Maharshi in the temple. King Soubhadra felt that only Deity Shiva should be hailed in His temple and no one else, otherwise it turns into an insult to Deity Shiva. With this feeling, he opposed hailing of Maharshi Vishwamitra. As a result, Maharshi Vishwamitra became furious and an argument started between the two.
3. Prabhu Shriram declared that the resolution
of the argument between Maharshi Vishwamitra and King
Soubhadra will happen in the Justice house on the subsequent day
As both Maharshi Vishwamitra and King Soubhadra arrived in Ayodhya, Prabhu Shriram met them at the same time. Maharshi Vishwamitra instructed Prabhu Shriram to give strong punishment to King Soubhadra. Prabhu Shriram then announced that this case will be reviewed in the Justice House on the following day.
4. Based on Narardmuni’s
advice, King Soubhadra surrendering unto
Anjani Devi, Hanuman’s mother, and Anjanimata asking
Hanuman to shoulder the responsibility of Soubhadra’s protection
King Soubhadra became terrified with the thought that Prabhu Shriram will sentence him to a strong punishment based on Maharshi Vishwamitra’s instruction. At that instance Sage Naradmuni appeared and He advised Soubhadra to surrender himself unto Anjani Devi, Hanuman’s mother. As per His advice, Soubhadra went to mountain Sumeru and surrendered unto the holy feet of Anjanimata. Anjanimata understood the entire context and assured Soubhadra of protection. She handed over the responsibility of protection of King Soubhadra to Hanuman. Hanuman accepted the responsibility and flew him to Ayodhya on the following day. He advised Soubhadra to gather courage and asked him sit on the banks of river Sharayu and chant Name of Shriram continuously.
5. Prabhu Shriram taking a
pledge of killing Soubhadra before sunset
After knowing that King Soubhadra has suddenly fled from the place, Maharshi Vishwamitra became even more angry. He ordered Shriram to kill Soubhadra. Accordingly, Shriram pledged to kill Soubhadra before sunset. Prabhu Shriram’s army went in search of Soubhadra to various places. They informed Shriram and Maharshi Vishwamitra that Soubhadra is engrossed in chanting the Name of Shriram along with Hanuman at the banks of river Sharayu.
6. Prabhu Shriram in the state of dilemma
Prabhu Shriram arrived at the banks of river Sharayu with His bow and arrow, along with Maharshi Vishwamitra. He saw that Hanuman is sitting in the front and Soubhadra behind Him. Both were engrossed in chanting Shriram’s Name. Prabhu Shriram ordered Hanuman to step aside, to which Hanuman reminded Him of the boon given to Hanuman earlier. Maharshi Vishwamitra insisted on shooting arrow on Soubhadra. Prabhu Shriram went into a dilemma of whether He should adhere to the promise given to Hanuman or act as per the pledge given to Vishwamitra.
7. Prabhu Shriram shooting an
arrow towards Soubhadra, however due
to Hanuman’s grace it does not target Soubhadra
At last Prabhu Shriram acted as per the instruction by His Guru Maharshi Vishwamitra and shot the arrow towards Soubhadra. By Hanuman’s grace, a protective sheath of the Name of Shriram had got created around Soubhadra, due to which the arrow did not hit Soubhadra. Shriram shot several arrows, however none of them could hit Soubhadra. Maharshi Vishwamitra was surprised to witness that the arrows shot by Shriram were missing the target. When He introspected, He realized that for God, the successful implementation of boon given to a devotee is superior than His own pledge. Hence, he asked Shriram to take back His pledge. Hanuman then asked King Soubhadra to surrender unto the holy feet of Maharshi Vishwamitra and seek forgiveness. Accordingly, Soubhadra begged for pardon and Maharshi Vishwamitra forgave him.
8. Supreme devotee Hanuman proved the
truthfulness of the proverb ‘Greater than Ram is the Name of Ram’
In this way Hanuman resolved the dilemma of Prabhu Shriram and protected King Soubhadra too. It was a triumph of boon over pledge. This incidence shows that if a devotee is chanting the Name of Shriram then even an arrow shot by Shriram Himself cannot hurt him. Supreme devotee Hanuman proved the truthfulness of the proverb ‘Greater than Ram is the Name of Ram’.