The ever-curious Hanuman once saw Sita adorning her forehead with vermilion. Hanuman asked, “Sita Mata, why are putting vermillion on your forehead?” Sita was amused by the curiosity of Hanuman and answered, “I apply it to ensure the long life of Lord Rama.” Listening to this, Hanuman smeared his whole body with vermillion. Lord Rama was so amused that he burst into laughter. He called Hanuman close to him, and said, “I am amazed by your love and devotion towards me, and from now on, people will also know you as Bajrangbali.” “Bajrang” in the word Bajrangbali means orange.
The Story of Lord Rama’s Sister Shanta
Apart from his three brothers, Rama also had a sister. Not many people know about this, and it is also believed that all four sons of King Dashrath were not told about the existence of their sister Shanta. Shanta was the oldest child of King Dashrath and Queen Kaushalya. Queen Kaushalya had an older sister, named Vershini, who did not have any children of her own. So, during one of her visits to her younger sister Kaushalya, Vershini asked for Kaushalya’s child. King Dashrath agreed to give his daughter Shanta to Vershini.
The Story of Hanuman Receiving Sita’s Pearl Necklace
After coming back victorious from the battle, Rama was rewarding everyone who helped him in the battle. When he asked Hanuman what he wanted as a gift, Hanuman refused to take anything. Watching this exchange, Sita gave Hanuman her pearl necklace. Hanuman accepted the gift, and he started breaking each pearl with his teeth. Astonished, Sita asked Hanuman why he was breaking the pearls, and he replied that he was looking for Rama in the pearls, but he can’t find him. The ministers of the court started mocking Hanuman for his devotion, and one of them asked Hanuman if his body also has Rama in it. In response, Hanuman tore his chest apart with his hands and residing in his heart was the image of Rama and Sita. Everyone was shocked by his devotion and congratulated him .
The Story of a Squirrel
Ravana had abducted Sita and took her to Lanka. There was a massive ocean that Rama had to cross to get Sita back. The entire Vanar Sena (army of monkeys) and all the animals started helping Lord Rama to make a bridge that would take them to Lanka. Rama was deeply moved by the dedication and passion of his entire army. He noticed that a tiny squirrel was also working tirelessly. The squirrel picked up tiny stones in her mouth and kept putting them near the boulders. The squirrel’s enthusiasm was destroyed by a monkey when he made fun of her saying that she should stay away from the boulder or she would get crushed. Seeing the monkey laugh, all the other animals also started making fun of the little squirrel. The squirrel was hurt and started crying. The upset squirrel went running to Rama and complained about the whole incident. Rama assembled everyone and showed them how the pebble thrown by the little squirrel was connecting two boulders. He also stated that no contribution is small or big; what matters is the intent and devotion. Appreciating the hard work and effort of the squirrel, Rama lovingly stroked the squirrel’s back. The gentle stroke left three stripes on the squirrel’s back. It is believed that before this incident, squirrels did not have stripes on their bodies. This is a great moral story for kids which will help them recognise the importance of both small and big efforts.
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