“The emblem of Hanuman on the flag of Arjuna is another sign of victory because Hanuman cooperated with Lord Rama in the battle between Rama and Ravana, and Lord Rama emerged victorious. Now both Rama and Hanuman were present on the chariot of Arjuna to help him. Lord Krishna is Rama Himself, and wherever Lord Rama is, His eternal servitor Hanuman and His eternal consort Sita, the goddess of fortune, are present. Therefore, Arjuna had no cause to fear any enemies whatsoever.” (Shrila Prabhupada, Bhagavad-gita, 1.20 Purport)
Friend1: You get these silly questions in general conversation sometimes. Such as, who would win in a fight, a crocodile or a lion?
Friend2: Oh, I see. One of those meaningless debates, where you can spend hours going in different directions.
Friend1: One person would say that the lion is the king of the jungle. Of course it would win. No doubt about it.
Friend2: Then the other side remarks about the preferred habitat, the home territory. The crocodile goes back into the water and then what will the lion do?
Friend1: Paying homage to such conversations, let’s try a transition to spiritual topics, namely Hari-Katha.
Friend2: This should be good.
Friend1: You have the famous Arjuna. The bow-warrior who is one of the central characters in the historic work of epic length that is the Mahabharata.
Friend2: He is one of the five Pandava brothers. Members of the kshatriya order who are the rightful heirs to the throne in Hastinapura.
Friend1: The person named Duryodhana takes it over instead. He puts his family in charge.
Friend2: Arjuna and Duryodhana are related as cousins.
Friend1: Yes, and it is acknowledged by practically everyone, friend and foe alike, that Arjuna is the best bow-warrior in the world.
Friend2: Proven many times.
Friend1: Such as when he won the contest to marry the princess named Draupadi. A fish was perched above, with a wheel coming before it. Arjuna pierced the fish’s eye without looking at it.
Friend2: He could only see the reflection in a water-pot on the ground
Friend1: I forget the exact details, but I think one time also Arjuna saved Duryodhana from attack. Arjuna pleased Agni and received the Gandiva bow from him.
Friend2: All around, impeccable credentials.
Friend1: So in keeping with the spirit of silly debates, who would win in a fight, Arjuna or Shri Rama, the son of Dasharatha?
Friend2: Are you serious with this?
Friend1: Just indulge me.
Friend2: They would never be engaged in combat with one another. Rama was on Arjuna’s chariot, if you remember. Shri Krishna, also known as Partha-sarathi.
Friend1: Okay, then who is the better bow-warrior? Is it Rama or Arjuna?
Friend2: You do realize that Bhagavan is the source of everyone’s strength? Arjuna later met defeat against rogues specifically because Krishna was no longer favoring him. The fighting ability had an expiration date. Talent on loan from God, so to speak. The devotion, bhakti, does not. That continues in life after life, where Krishna remains as Arjuna’s companion.
Friend1: Hmm, I guess that settles it, then.
Friend2: It is interesting that you mention this. Because there is a story passed on about a meeting between Arjuna and Shri Hanuman.
Friend1: Oh really? I only know of Hanuman’s meeting with Bhima, one of the other Pandava brothers.
Friend2: The story goes that Arjuna was belittling the bridge built by Rama to cross over the ocean into Lanka.
Friend1: Which was actually built by the Vanaras helping Him. Hanuman was included in that group.
Friend2: Yes and even so, the debate is not necessary. Just appreciate what others were able to do. Arjuna was challenged to build a better bridge by someone who appeared on the scene. Arjuna said he could build one out of arrows. The challenger would test the strength by stepping on the bridge.
Friend2: And so in each iteration, Arjuna’s bridge made of arrows got crushed. This challenger was actually Hanuman. He didn’t like it that someone was belittling Rama.
Friend1: That’s a great story.
Friend2: The process continued until Arjuna felt so embarrassed that he wanted to end his life. At that moment Vishnu manifested and put an end to the disagreement. That incident is one of the reasons for Hanuman appearing on Arjuna’s chariot during the Bharata War.
Friend1: Again, a great story. I am happy that everything got resolved. It is a silly thing to question, because everyone here is of the same category of devotee. There is no difference between the object of worship and the person worshiping.
Friend2: At least in terms of potency. They are distinct individuals, but Bhagavan passes on to his servants whatever abilities they require in serving Him to perfection.
Abilities to them passing,
In some cases God surpassing.
Like Hanuman over ocean to leap,
Who image on chariot to keep.
Silly Arjuna’s strength to compare,
Such as in conflict how to fare.
Because devotion mattering the most,
Not who of ability to boast.