What is the signficance of Hanuman’s presence on Arjuna’s chariot?

Rathin Mandal, 03rd April 2013

Hare Krishna,

Please accept my humble obeisances,
All glories to Srila Gurudeva and Srimati Gurumata,
All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

In Krishna book, chapter 58, describing the great war of Kurukshetra, it says that: “Both of them sat down on Arjuna’s chariot, which flew a flag with a picture of Hanumān. Arjuna’s special chariot is always marked with the picture of Hanumān, and therefore he is also named Kapidhvaja.”
I have couple of questions :

What is the pastime for having flag emblemed with Hanumanji on chariot of Arjuna? While as in Mahabharat serial it was shown that mostly warriors used to have flags emblemed with Suryadev (Sun).

Another reason for this question is that there is a very popular belief that because Arjuna had flag of Hanumanji on his chariot, he was protected by Hanumanji. Even I used to believe in this previously. But now I understand that when Supreme Personality of Godhead Sri Krishna is himself with Arjuna then Arjuna already has all the protection.
Is there any other pastime related here which got perverted with time?

your Servant
Rathin

Bhakta Sunil, 03rd April 2013

Hare Krishna Rathin Prabhu ji

Please accept my humble obeisances
All Glories to Srila Prabhupada

I read your question and was reminded of few lines which I had read

I searched and found few results and am pasting a search result which I think you would find relevant to your question :

TEXT 20:
atha vyavasthitan drishtva
dhartarashtran kapi-dhvajah
pravritte sastra-sampate
dhanur udyamya pandavah
hrishikesam tada vakyam
idam aha mahi-pate

TRANSLATION:
At that time Arjuna, the son of Pandu, seated in the chariot bearing the flag marked with Hanuman, took up his bow and prepared to shoot his arrows. O King, after looking at the sons of Dhritarashtra drawn in military array, Arjunathen spoke to Lord Krishna these words.

PURPORT:
The battle was just about to begin. It is understood from the above statement that the sons of Dhritarashtra were more or less disheartened by the unexpected arrangement of military force by the Pandavas, who were guided by the direct instructions of Lord Krishna on the battlefield. 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. And above all, the Lord of the senses, Lord Krishna, was personally present to give him direction. Thus, all good counsel was available to Arjuna in the matter of executing the battle. In such auspicious conditions, arranged by the Lord for His eternal devotee, lay the signs of assured victory.
Regards,
Sunil
Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 04th April 2013

Dear Rathin Mandal,

Yes, it is correct that the chariot was protected by Sri Hanuman who is an eternal servitor of Lord Sri Krishna in His form as Lord Sri Ramachandra, this is mentioned in Srimad Bhagavatam and Mahabharata even before the war of Kurukshetra.

The makers of television serials are certainly influential, but are not authorities. For example, in one television serial I saw as a child, the actors playing the role of Brahmanas performing auspicious yajnas all had their sacred thread on the right shoulder going down to left side of waist (usually done only for certain duties considered inauspicious). It is sometimes quite unnerving to see the shortcuts etc., because they did not take advice and guidance of bona fide spiritual master. Still, some information is passed, on, but also much misinformation.

Re how it is that Hanuman appeared on the flag, there is a nice pastime of Krishna, but it might be too detailed for this international group of students. So contact me offline for that 🙂

Sincerely,
Mahabhagavat Das
Rathin Mandal, 04th April 2013

Hare Krishna,

Please accept my humble obeisances,
All glories to Srila Gurudeva and Srimati Gurumata,
All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

Thank you very much Sunil Prabhu and Mahabhagavat Prabhu for the answers.
This helps me to understand the meaning better.

your Servant
Rathin
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